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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Kuala Lumpur to become ' wireless city' from mid-2008

KUALA Lumpur is set to be a “wireless city” with free wireless Internet coverage for two years from the middle of next year, Datuk Bandar Datuk Abdul Hakim Borhan said today.

The WiFi facility, which laptops can readily access, will make it possible for 80 per cent of the federal capital’s 1.5 million residents to access the Internet via broadband, he added.

“This project is aimed at increasing broadband coverage in the Klang Valley to 90 per cent of the population by 2010,” he told reporters after signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the KL Wireless Metropolitan project.

The MoU is between Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL), Malaysian Communications & Multimedia Commission (MCMC) and Packet One Networks (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd.

MCMC chairman Datuk Halim Shafie and Packet One Networks chief executive officer Michael Lai were the other signatories.

Abdul Hakim said the three-phased project will be completed in 2010, with the first phase, costing RM60 million, to be carried out between January and September next year.

He did not mention the overall cost.

Phase One will see 1,500 WiFi zones being created, covering commercial centres, office buildings, public housing areas, community centres and public areas.

To be included will be the Golden Triangle and the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre which will be the venue for the World Congress on Information Technology 2008 (WCIT 2008) in May, which will have 200 access points.

“This project will raise the quality of City Hall’s service delivery, reduce installation costs, help automate and coordinate in a systematic manner the work processes, improve productivity and overall, propel the e-government initiative,” Abdul Hakim said.

Earlier, he had read out the speech of the Federal Territories Minister at the function, in which Datuk Seri Zulhasnan Rafique expressed confidence the project will benefit the lower and middle income groups by providing them with unlimited access to ICT besides narrowing the IT gap among the city folks.

“This project will also contribute towards generating economic growth in the country and in the tourism industry besides creating job openings,” he added.

By Bernama

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