Saturday, March 28, 2009

WiFi WiFi come come....the more the merrier...

The public can now surf the Net at 26 hotspots in Penang for free under the state’s Wireless@Penang initiative.

Provided by the REDtone-Hotgate Consort-ium, the free wireless broadband service is available around Komtar, Penang Road, Chulia Street, Bukit Jambul and Mayang Mall on the island and Permatang Pauh on the mainland.

“This is just the beginning,” REDtone group managing director Wei Chuan Beng said at the Wireless@Penang launch by Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng yesterday.

“By year end, we should have a total of 350 hotspots at selected shopping malls, residential and commercial areas and by December 2010, the number will increase to 750.”

To enjoy the free broadband service, Wei said all users had to do was register themselves online at any of the hotspots, adding that the consortium hoped to see a return on investment (ROI) in 18 months to three years.

In his speech, Lim said Wireless@Penang proved to be a successful business model.

“This business model, as the consortium has shown, is viable for companies to consider. Despite providing a free service, the company can still see a ROI,” he said

Lim noted that the free Internet connection would put Penang on the map as being among the world’s “most interconnected” cities.

“As far as safety issues go, we have done everything, including getting a World Health Organisation report to verify that blanket WiFi is not harmful to the people’s health.”

The Star 27th Mar 09

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