Monday, November 7, 2011

Free Public WiFi in Beijing

Beijing's Municipal Commission of Economy and Information Technology is set to roll out free public WiFi, "My Beijing" in the city of Beijing. With coverage planned for 60 percent of Beijing through 480,000 WLAN access points and more than 6,000 hotspots over the next five years, in the big picture this is a laudable move on behalf of the Chinese government to bring free Internet access to a sizable chunk of the near-20 million Beijing residents. It represents the largest initiative in terms of coverage (and number of hotspots) in China to date and will certainly be one of the largest municipal WiFi networks in the world.

Like most of the things that are available for free this also has a catch. In order to access "My Beijing" users will have to provide their mobile cell phone number. Beijing residents don't feel comfortable releasing their cell phone numbers as they are afraid they could be swamped with marketing calls and messages if they did so. However, the municipal commission is stating that the cell phone number is only required for identity authentication so that it will help trace those whose online activity might endanger social security.

Source: China Org


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