All city buses in Gwangju, host of this year’s FINA World Championships, will have public Wifi onboard as South Korea moves to bolster its internet connectivity infrastructure, the government said Thursday.
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Starting Friday, all of Gwangju’s 1,044 buses will have Wifi as the city, 330 kilometers south of Seoul, gets ready for the International Swimming Federation’s premiere aquatic event, which kicks off July 12, the Ministry of Science and ICT said.
Asia’s fourth-largest economy started installing Wifi transmitters on buses in earnest last year to give citizens better access to the internet and help reduce their phone bills. In 2018, a little over 7,200 buses provided free Wifi, with the government planning to install mobile hotspots on 23,000 more buses by the end of this year. This will bring the number of buses with Wifi to over 30,000, roughly 86 percent of all public buses on the road today.
The ICT ministry said the goal is to receive additional funding so all 35,300 buses in the country can have Wifi by the end of 2021.
“Gwangju is first major city in the country to get connected city buses as Seoul wants to show its prowess in the telecommunications field to visitors to the swimming event,” the ministry said.
It said all city bus Wifi networks can be easily accessed and they will provide a regular and secure link.
The ministry said that while it is taking steps to protect Wifi networks from hacking, it is still advisable not to make financial transactions when using public wireless services.