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ANMC21 ICT Initiatives for Urban Development

Urban Best Practice

Wireless Taipei Taipei Infinity

Wireless Taipei Taipei Infinity

Overview

With a population of more than 2.61 million and a population density of 9,593 people per square kilometer, Taipei ranks fourth on the list of densely populated Asian cities.

From 1999 to 2002, Taipei City implemented the “Frequent the Net, Free up the Road” concept, strengthened e-government services, and improved digital life applications for residents. From 2003 to 2006, when it promoted the vision of “Digital City, Mobile Taipei”, the City focused on deploying a wireless local area network (WLAN) that covers over 90 percent of the city’s populace (2.3 million individuals), striving to make Taipei one of the most competitive and internationalized cities. In 2006, JiWire accredited Taipei City as the “world’s largest Wi-Fi network city.”

In 2007, Taipei introduced the concept of “Intelligent City, Quality Life” to promote its “UI-Taipei” project. The City hopes to provide residents with a quality living environment and efficient citizen centric services through the implementation of a strong online presence that is mobile, intelligent, and without geographic limits.

Furthermore, Taipei City plans to offer free citywide Wi-Fi access starting the first half of 2011. The service adheres to the “territoriality principle”, offering everyone in Taipei City – both residents and short-term visitors – access to the Internet via their laptops, PDAs, smart phones, and mobile devices with Wi-Fi network support. The service will be available at no charge and no limitation in terms of access time or access frequency. Foreign tourists and businessmen can easily apply for an account by filling out applications online at the airport or visitor information centers in Taipei. The free Wi-Fi wireless service will be accessible at the majority of both indoor and outdoor public areas in Taipei City.

Period of Implementation

Taipei has been working on the development of policies related with information communication technology (ICT). The master plan is a 3-stage initiative, detailed below:

  1. (1999-2002): CyberCity Initiatives.
  2. (2003-2006): CyberCity Initiatives Phase II.
  3. (2007~): UI-Taipei Initiative

Features

Through the CyberCity Initiative to the UI-Taipei Initiative, Taipei has successfully deployed a wireless broadband network with the widest coverage in the world; it has also promoted its “UI-Taipei” Initiative aggressively. Through the construction of a ubiquitous and intelligent city, Taipei enables the residents of one of the world’s most densely populated metropolis to live comfortably, work happily, and pursue their pioneering spirit freely. It has become a vanguard community with implementing advanced technologies, a place where the opportunity to build a sustainable, harmonious and rewarding future is available to everyone.

It also seeks to achieve the following objectives:

  1. Establish “Wireless Taipei”, the first global mobile city.
  2. Eliminate the digital divide and provide an environment offering diverse services
  3. Create neo-broadband fields offering innovative services.
  4. Promote development of local industries in related fields; enhance international competitiveness.
  5. Integrate the resources of private sector to create win-win strategies.

Outcomes/Achievements

Building upon its strong basis in wireless broadband networking, Taipei City Government has introduced a number of landmark applications, including the Intelligent Transportation System (ITS), Taipei Telecare, 1999 Citizen Hotline, Map of Taipei Amusements (MOTA), and more. The City hopes to transform Taipei into a paradise for mobile workers by providing convenient and accessible services. The aforementioned achievements won Taipei City numerous international awards including:

  • Connected Government Award”by FutureGov (2010)
  • “Metro-ICT Best Practice Award”by ASOCIO (2010)
  • Invited to showcase its achievements at the “Urban Best Practices Area” by The World Expo 2010 Shanghai (2008) 
  • “Intelligent Community Awards” by ICF (2006) 
  • “World’s Largest Wi-Fi Network City” by JiWire (2006)

Cost

Thanks to the “Build & Operate” (BO) arrangement, Taipei City Government did not need to allocate budget for infrastructure construction in this area; the private company winning the franchise bears the responsibility of obtaining the fund for construction and operation.

As for offering a diverse selection of public application services for broadband connections, the cost will depend on the scale of the project.