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HK Gov't Begins Offering Free Wi-Fi at 5,000+ Spots

HK Gov't Begins Offering Free Wi-Fi at 5,000+ Spots

A scene from the launch ceremony of Wi-Fi.HK service.

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The Hong Kong government and private telecom companies began offering a new service, "Wi-Fi.HK," on August 5. The service is a joint project to provide free public wireless internet that is simple for residents and travelers to access with their smartphones and tablets.

The project was initiated for the purpose of establishing Hong Kong as a wired city and raising the territory's profile. The effort is a major expansion of public internet access beyond more public facilities, such as Hong Kong International Airport, to commercial facilities, sightseeing spots, cafes, convenience stores and more. Users do not have to register a profile. Some of the free Wi-Fi spots have no time restrictions, while others have a 30-minute limit.

A Wi-Fi.HK app came out at the same time the new service rolled out. It allows residents and tourists to search for nearby Wi-Fi spots by designating a district or location. Downloading the app makes it easy even for people unfamiliar with the territory by displaying nearby spots on a map. Users can also view accessible spots through the service's official website.

In addition to the Hong Kong government, project partners include HKT Hong Kong Broadband Network, Hutchison Global Communications, Y5ZONE, Airport Authority Hong Kong, Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation and Cyberport Management Company. As it also rolls out GovWiFi, a project intended to expand free Wi-Fi service in government buildings, the Hong Kong government plans to expand service and offer assistance to make free Wi-Fi accessible in a greater array of facilities such as hospitals.

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