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MIRI CAN BECOME STATE'S FIRST WIFI CITY

By Margaret Ringgit, published in The Borneo Post, 17 May 2008

MIRI : There is a possibility Miri can become the first seamless wireless city in the state once the remaining areas in the city are fully covered by broadband services.

Infrastructure Development and Communication Assistant Minister Lee Kim Shin, in stating this here yesterday, said Miri Broadband Stakeholders Group has asked DANAWA Resources Sdn Bhd - the service provider - to look into the long-term planned programme.

Speaking during the Miri Broadband Stakeholders Group meeting at miri Citi Council (MCC), Lee, said once the seamless wireless city programme was fully in place, tourists or business people could on arrival at Miri Airport, log onto the Internet through laptops, PDAs or handphones, all the way up till Sungai Tujuh without any interruption.

"We really want to make Miri a model WiFi city with these kind of facilities... it is convenient," he said, adding that with such facilities, the users would have more options.

"In Miri, we feel that wireless broadband is very essential based on the number of registered users. As you can see, there are big numbers of users here although not all areas are fully covered yet," he explained.

He believed that one of the reasons for the big demand was the oil and gas industry where the people involved were really in need of that kind of services as they worked 24 hours communicating with people in other parts of the world.

During the meeting, various issues were brought up for solution with a view to provide better quality services.

According to Lee, as of yesterday, there were 23,357 registered users. He said the figure was very encouraging. "We expect this figure to increase once DANAWA has completed the installation of its base station so that we can have bigger coverage," he added.

He said at the moment about 60 to 70 per cent of the city areas was covered by the broadband services. "They (DANAWA) are trying to complete the remaining areas by the end of July this year," he said.

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