Wireless in George Town

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The writing is on the wall for Penangites. Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s vision to broaden the island’s digital intelligence will leave some in the lurch if they’re not plugged into the wireless world. Member of Parliament for Jelutong Jeff Ooi gives us some insight into this techno-transformation.

It may be the top man’s vision but it is people like Jeff Ooi who are pounding the pavement in order to fulfil the promise of free WiFi service for Penang’s residents and visitors. From dealing with unauthorised telecommunications structures to imposing consistent and stringent guidelines, not to mention braving NGO protests, he’s managed to lay a stable foundation for the state government’s latest initiative.

“We inherited the problem of illegal telecommunication structures (after the Opposition in Penang came and took power in the 2008 general election),” says the influential blogger-turned-politician. “We did a count and found about 800-odd devices of which more than 60% were not legal.


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