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Taiwan providing free Wi-Fi in indigenous communities


The i-Tribe program for free Wi-Fi in Taiwan's indigenous communities will boost wireless broadband development in remote areas and provide tangible services to residents, Premier Mao Chi-kuo said today at a service launch ceremony for the Torik Tribe in Taitung County.

"The government has prepared a budget of NT$1.5 million (US$45,700) per community with an initial goal of setting up free Wi-Fi service in 170 of the nation's 734 indigenous communities by the end of 2017."

Several years ago, the government launched a nationwide free Wi-Fi service called iTaiwan that has garnered international acclaim. Now, the government is boosting Internet infrastructure in indigenous villages by setting up outdoor wireless broadband systems, Mao said.

Providing free Wi-Fi service to indigenous communities gives them access to the same quality of telecommunications service enjoyed by the rest of Taiwan, the premier continued. This can change education models by delivering online education to indigenous students and speeding up the learning process. Aboriginal communities will be able to promote their culture via the Internet and convey the richness of indigenous performances to wider audiences. Online businesses can also be set up right from home, allowing people to sell their handicrafts or agricultural products directly to consumers.

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