Guan Eng explains wi-fi/Wimax plan – plus another view

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I thought I would give the w-fi issue a rest, but then I received a couple of phone calls from assistants in the office of Penang Chief Minister Guan Eng, followed by an e-mail from his press secretary 🙂

After reading your blog with the posting of “Other concerns about wifi project”, CM have instructed me to send you 2 of his press statement during the launching of Wifi and WiMAX project which issued on 18 Sept and 25 Sept respectively.

So let me share those press statements with you. This one is on w-fi:

PRESS STATEMENT By Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng

In Penang On September 18, 2008

PENANG State Government launches [email protected] Which Will Provide STATE-WIDE FREE WIFI BROADBAND Within 2 Years.

GEORGE TOWN – [email protected] is taking shape and Penang is set to become the first in Malaysia to offer free broadband services on WiFi deployed on a state-wide basis.

At the pilot launch of Penang Free WiFi here this morning, Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the broadband service will be rolled out without incurring any capital investment and operating expenditure on the state government.

“We have been researching on a suitable technology platform and implementation partners to offer free broadband service that can be rolled out on a fast track basis for the entire state,” said the chief minister.

He added that there are 3 characteristics in this Penang Free Wifi effort:-

It is 100% private sector driven with nearly no or minimal costs put in by the state government;
There are no rights to exclusivity and all qualified and recognised industry players are welcome in the interests of promoting competition;

The Penang state government will provide equal facilitation to install their services for those who are as partners of [email protected] project.

Recognised partners are those who have a proven track record or are listed companies in Bursa Malaysia such as REDTone which is listed on Mesdaq.

The Penang Free WiFi service, structured to provide connectivity primarily for public use, is provided by the REDTone-Hotgate Consortium.

Penang Free WiFi is the first component of the [email protected] project. It will be followed soon after with the launch of [email protected], which caters to the serious mobile Internet users who require better speed.

The state-wide roll-out of Penang Free WiFi is expected to be completed within 18 to 24 months.

For the pilot launch, the service is available at the concourse , and on the 28th floor of Komtar, where the Chief Minister’s office is located.
There are another 19 Penang Free WiFi hotspots already up and running in Kepala Batas.

Subsequently, the community WiFi service will be deployed on a ‘ripples strategy’, with simultaneous initial roll-outs in several core market centres on the island and Seberang Prai, before they finally spread to cover the entire state.

Immediate beneficiaries of Penang Free WiFi are all Penangites including the lower income group, tourists, and small businesses that support tourism and related services in the state.

“We have been looking for an affordable and sustainable broadband solution that can help boost the efficiency in connectivity for the general public, tourists and the service providers throughout the state,” the chief minister said.

“In the end, we found a public broadband solution that will not cause any financial burden to the state government,” he said.

“It will be a service quite similar to those available in [email protected] Network in Singapore, but in Penang it will be cost-free to the state government.”

“Broadband penetration rate in Malaysia is still in the teens, and Penang wants to play an active role to achieve the 50% broadband target by 2010,” Lim said.

Connectivity, Community & Content

“We adopt a 3Cs concept in the [email protected] project, which comprises Connectivity, Community and Content,” Lim said.

“Our focus now is to improve on mobile connectivity to the Internet, so that the Penang broadband user community can be networked together to reach the economic of scale.”

The [email protected] broadband service is strategically aimed at promoting healthy competition among the licensed broadband service providers, and giving end users an alternative to broadband delivered over the fixed line network.

The technology platform for Penang Free WiFi is IEEE 802.11 as its variants support a wide range of mobile devices such as notebooks, smartphones, PDAs and hand-held terminals that are commonly being used.

However, the Chief Minister said, the state government will remain technology-neutral so that Penang will be ready to accommodate newer technologies, such as Wireless WiMAX, as and when they become more pervasive and affordable to the service providers and end-users.”

Chief Minister Lim also emphasised on the issue of cost of deployment and sustainability.

Compared to the High Speed Broadband (HSBB) project touted by the federal government, which was reported to cost around RM11.3bil, the Penang Free WiFi project will almost be expenditure-free to the Penang state government.

Under the arrangement between the state government and the service provider, the latter will be leveraging a business model that allows it to collate multimedia advertisements on the landing page whenever a user signs in to the WiFi service.

On the other hand, the Penang state government will also be given free advertisement slots in the network to broadcast its own news and messages to the Penang people.

LIM GUAN ENG

And this one is on Wimax:

Press Statement by Penang Chief Minister YAB Lim Guan Eng
In Penang on September 25, 2008

Penang among the first in the world to implement Wireless Broadband on WiMAX

PENANG, 25 Sept – The cutting-edge wireless WiMAX service will be available in Penang come December, making it one of the first cities in the world to experience broadband on the move.

This was revealed today at a preview of [email protected], jointly presented by the Penang state government and Packet One Networks (M) Sdn Bhd or P1. WiMAX is a telecommunications technology aimed at providing wireless data over long distances in a variety of ways, from point-to-point to full mobile access.

Packect One, or P1, is another of Penang state government’s partner in the [email protected] project which was unveiled last week. P1 is the subsidiary company of publicly listed company on the Main Board of Bursa Malaysia, Green Packet Bhd. Green Packet has over 500 employees.

Intel Capital invested RM50 million in Green Packet Berhad and will collaborate with its subsidiary and WiMAX licensee P1, to deploy Malaysia’s first nation-wide 802.16e WiMAX network P1 was among four licensees awarded the WiMAX spectrum in March last year by the MCMC. The others were REDtone International Bhd, YTL e-Solutions Bhd and Asiaspace Dotcom Sdn Bhd.

Under the [email protected] project, which comprises two technological components, the entire state will be connected to the Internet via within 18 to 24 months.

The first component, named Penang Free WiFi and pilot launched last week, is a free wireless broadband service that targets the general public, including the lesser served areas and communities around popular eateries, in campuses and lower income housing estates. It will cover the whole state, including the island Seberang Prai, by September 2010, if not earlier.

Today’s event previewed what was in store for wireless broadband users, when the P1 WiMAX network is available this December.

“In forging an enduring partnership between the Penang state government, P1 is strategically built upon the one we had last week, where we first revealed the blueprint for FREE WiFi access to thousands in the state within two years, if not earlier,” said Penang Chief Minister, Lim Guan Eng.

“Come December, P1 will be rolling out the wireless Internet coverage at selected sites across Georgetown, Seberang Perai, and the rest of Penang within the next 15 months,” Lim added.

The wireless broadband service, which leverages P1’s WiMAX signals that extend about 30 km from each site, will support a higher level of mobility as users will no longer be tied to fixed hotspots as they are free to move around and be connected simultaneously.

P1 expects to extend its coverage to 70% of the Penang state by the end of 2009.

“Just like the Penang Free WiFi community broadband service we announced last week, [email protected] will also be rolled out without incurring any capital investment and operating expenditure on the state government,” the chief minister said.

“It is 100% private sector driven, and whoever being recognised as the partner of [email protected] project will enjoy utmost support and facilitation by the Penang state government,” Lim added.

There are three key points that underline the partnership forged under the [email protected] project that is provided free to the public, namely:
It is 100% private sector driven with nearly no or minimal costs put in by the state government;
There are no rights to exclusivity and all qualified and recognised industry players are welcome in the interests of promoting competition;

The Penang state government will provide equal facilitation to install their services for those who are as partners of [email protected] project.

In other words, the service provider must be a licensee approved by the industry regulator, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC). The service provider, besides having reputable track records, must ideally be a listed entity at the parent company or operating unit level as is the case with P1 and the other company unveiled last week, RedTone,

According to statistics, broadband penetration rate in Malaysia is still in the teens – around 15% — and Penang wants to play an active role to achieve the national broadband target of 50% by 2010.

“In Penang, with our emphasis on the CAT model of Governance – Competency, Accountability and Transparency – we welcome all broadband service providers to join us in this journey,” Lim said.

“Let’s join hands in creating higher broadband coverage areas to boost efficiency in multi-way communications the digital way,” he emphasised.

“We value our partners, and we can assure you that this is going to be rewarding partnership for all of us,” Lim added.

The chief minister said [email protected] will bring Penang another step closer of being a fully developed state.

“It also reaffirms our pledge earlier this year, of moving Penang forward AND making Penang dynamic again,” Lim said.

“But we should not stop at receiving such awards and accolades,” the chief minister said. “Instead, as we are all responsible for continuously driving the state of Penang forward, that Penang, as a progressive International City, is the location of choice for the investors, the habitat of choice for Malaysians and expatriates, and the destination of choice for international and domestic tourists.”

Lim also reiterated his comprehensive strategy for [email protected] in unleashing the power of Internet and broadband combined, which comprises the 3Cs – Connectivity, Community and Content.

The immediate focus of the state is to improve the infrastructure to support mobile connectivity to the Internet, so that the Penang broadband user community can be networked together to reach the economic of scale where new applications, solutions and Penang’s local content can be integrated for public benefits.

The chief Minister also suggested the community to come up with portals akin to wikipedia, the popular online encyclopedia, with a skew on Penang-centric content.

“Think about something called Wiki-Penang, so that tourists and outstationers, or whoever that logs on to Penang Free WiFi from the airport to the beach hotels, from the shopping malls to the Penang hawkers’ food paradise and fine dining, from the location-based directories to ordering a taxi, or looking for a parking lot in the city,” the CM suggested.

And here are a couple of comments from blog reader LKY:

I am just a humble engineer.

If Penang wants to embark on developing broadband services, do it in a more holistic manner. Do not wholehearted embrace the wireless technology. Recognise the advantages and disadvantages. What wireles is good at is a short term bridge to development of high speed wired infrastructure. Make sure the service providers have a plan and the budget to convert from wireless to fixed services within three to five years. Three to five years will give them sufficient time to recover their initial investment.

If Penang does it this way, it will end up with a safe and first-class communication infrastructure. With this infrastructure, Penang will be able to attract more ICT industries.

You have to know that wireless type services are generally less stable and reliable, due to environmental factors. No serious business will want to jeopardise its operations using wireless services.

… What we need is people who think holistically and long term for the good of the people. DAP is supposed to have some tech savy MPs and Adun. If they think like the BN ie Gerakan, then it will be tough to move Penang to the next stage. And by the way, the Gerakan people would jump at the proposals from Red Tone and P1. Same as what happened with the DAP people.

Besides the health issue, Penang needs to think about modern infrastructure for future The next era for Penang is, to use the cliche, knowledge-based economy. What it means is that this is information-based work….

Today, these businesses are hiring graduates by the thousands. And these type of businesses require stable and reliable and high capacity communications networks. Not the wireless wifi and wimax type.

Today theses businesses are found in Cyberjaya and KL because the type of infrastructure needed is found there. If Penang wants to attract these kind of businesses with high paying jobs, the DAP government must get serious about the infrastructure.

They should get Redtone and PI to commit to serious infrastructure. Not toys like wi-fi and Wimax. These are good for their brochures but do not bring business to Penang.

I hope all this contributes to the debate and discussion and provides food for thought, so that we arrive at a fair, reliable and safe long-term solution in the interests of all Penangites.

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Sohai

P1 wimax is really sux lah, waste money only!

Jessica

Try this for a change….same country that called for a limitation of WIFI due to fears of health risk…18 October, this came out..

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081017082005.htm

Conscience, where are you

1. You bet CAP is working for TMNET. Communities spread all over the world namely concerned individuals, groups, scientists, researchers, doctors, healers, spokespersons including the European Parliament which has voted against wireless technology is also working for TMNET. 2. By the way, the European Parliament is plotting to topple the Penang government — in particular, they have an axe to grind with lim guan eng and jeff ooi. 3. And the individuals who are opposed to having this “FREE Service” are plotting to widen the digital divide so the poor will become poorer. 4. The health issues raised over and… Read more »

Rajan

I am glad REDHA, FMM and I heard more will come to aid this wonderful technology. Please…don’t be a tool of those who could be within TMNET seeing the last stronghold remaining for their wired streamyx technology. I think it’s time to force these folks out in the open rather than getting associations like CAP to speak on their behalf. Besides that, there are those who blame to exposure of internet to be the political catalyst of the march 8 tsunami. Hence, thread carefully. Talk facts and don’t be stooges of devilish groups who are out to gain power and… Read more »

BrightEyes

Wireless Internet is some technology dumped on the Third World???

Do they not use WiFi extensively in Europe, the Americas (US included), Japan, and Australia?

Jeffrey Chew

Anil, I seldom post stuff on your comment blog but I felt that it was good of you to highlight the challenges and opportunities of WIFI and WIMAX. Strangely, I have not read anything about the deplorable service of our own wired Internet services in the country. I suggest you might want to take a look at that. After all, it has been years that we hear any TMNET bashing for that matter. Could this controversy be orchestrated by certain quarters under the guise of “clouding” the poor services of wired internet.Maybe you should check out my last posting on… Read more »

Simple Girl

Again, while we ponder on the issues, INTEL is rolling out their chips to cater for WIMAX option. So folks – either which way you are at, you stick to your grounds and be ready to accept progress. I am glad INTEL MADE THAT DECISION….so health risk? I really can’t say much..you be the judge

lucia

i echo bala (old friend from sangkancil days)… but hope he’s not being sarcastic.

i had also cheered the penang govt. and in particular jeff ooi in this post of mine. do read the guide – making sense of radiation – wi fi health risk is very minimum indeed, very minimum, compare to mobile phone.

mut

1. The first sentence refers to genetic changes — whether it is multigene interaction or mutation. I don’t know what causes these otherwise stable genetic configurations to go crazy, do you????!!! Food for thought isn’t it? Precisely the point. So what is the cause? The only thing I can agree upon is that the numbers have increased. The question is, due to what? Hell, it might even be the methods used. Any tests? Sampling method and size? If the first 1992-93 (baseline) positives were just counted for the first time, did they did they discover the whole instance of autism… Read more »

Sunny

Stronger Pathogens or Weaker Immune Systems? In 1985, Dr. Robert Becker, a renowned researcher and expert on the effects of EMFs on the body, was probably more than right when he wrote in his book, “The Body Electric”: “The admittedly sketchy evidence to date suggests that our electropollution is presenting us, and perhaps all animals, with a double challenge: weaker immune systems and stronger diseases. We shouldn’t be surprised, then, at an onslaught of “new” ailments, beginning about 1950 and accelerating toward the future. In several cases, new maladies have recently been described as coming from pathogens that previously weren’t… Read more »

Ishak

WIFI is the 21st century cigarette! Everyone is radiated whether you use it or not.

Here is why hazardous technology will continue to be promoted by governments:

Eg. The amount of money the British Government receives from the mobile industry in taxes and levies means there is a reluctance to tackle the issue. “Right now the British Government receives some
£10billion a year in revenue from the mobile phone industry.

In Malaysia, apa lagi?

Chandra

The following is an open letter from German doctors to the German Chancellor Angela Merkel to appeal against WiMax (wireless internet) frequency band auction. Beginning of letter: Dear Frau Bundeskanzler (Chancellor), “Refugees”,-this could be the headline for what is now happening at various places in Germany. Eg. in Oberammergau, where new, extremely low frequency pulsed communications technologies from T-Mobile are being trialled. These also are inducing hitherto healthy people to seek protected areas, because they can no longer endure being in their own home. The Mayor is threatening to turn off the electricity supply to the T-mobile transmitter, if the… Read more »

Tan
Bala Pillai

Way to go Guan Eng and Jeff Ooi, way to go!

Keep up the pace in having Penang to be a role-model state.

cheers../bala
Bala Pillai
Malaysia.Net

Ken

That is ridiculous why no body question to ban handphone? Don’t u think mobile phone radio frequency is even high risk than WIMAX? If WIMAX is harmful so why gov granted 3 companies to develop the service, one of them if redtone.

This most likely is a polity motive and gimmikry

Sunny

Third world people do get kicked around. Precautionary principle From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search The precautionary principle is a moral and political principle which states that if an action or policy might cause severe or irreversible harm to the public or to the environment, in the absence of a scientific consensus that harm would not ensue, the burden of proof falls on those who would advocate taking the action.[1] The principle implies that there is a responsibility to intervene and protect the public from exposure to harm where scientific investigation discovers a plausible risk in the… Read more »

Sunny

Jayen, 1. The first sentence refers to genetic changes — whether it is multigene interaction or mutation. I don’t know what causes these otherwise stable genetic configurations to go crazy, do you????!!! Food for thought isn’t it? 2. The table showing the shocking increase found in http://www.buergerwelle.de/pdf/autism_increase.doc is from the Department of Education annual reports to the US Congress. I doubt this original information has had a chance to be massaged by politicians yet — as you can see each school identifies the number of autistic kids. Diagnostic discrepancies, who knows??? An autistic kid is an autistic kid when you… Read more »

Bypasser

Correlation does not equate causation. What is read must be taken at face value. I can measure the diameter of a tree and measure against the GDP growth of Malaysia and get a positive relation between the two. So, why don’t we say that Malaysian growth depends on the growth of your tree in the garden? Get real, citing scientific articles is not equivalent to stating the truth, since it does not take into account of the caveats and assumptions involved in the production of the studies themselves. Wi-Fi objectors themselves fail at making a strong case against the costs… Read more »

stk

Sunny on October 11th, 2008 at 7.12pm I knew that it had gone up from 1 in a 1000 in the 80s to several out of every 100 children in the early 90s but this just shows that the continuing increase in ambient radiation that has occurred in the 90s has made this situation even more and more severe. It’s like “wake up out of your unconsciousness, people! Stop living in denial! Stop thinking that change doesn’t start with you!” I find it amazing that people just don’t care about their own health or the health of the planet, but… Read more »

Seng Li

Do You Have Microwave Illness?

Do you have any of the following symptoms? Insomnia, unexplained anxiety, vision problems, painful lymph nodes, recurring sore throat, headaches, loss of appetite, rapid weight loss or unexplained weight gain, extreme thirst, night sweats, extreme fatigue, memory loss, inability to concentrate, muscle pain, weakened immune system, allergies, heart pain/palpatations, etc.

Then you might very well have Microwave Illness! WIFI, Cell Phones, and Cell Phone Towers may indeed be making you sick!

jayen

Please don’t spread misinformation! READ THE FIRST AND LAST SENTENCE OF THIS PARAGRAPH! “Autism has a strong genetic basis, although the genetics of autism are complex and it is unclear whether ASD is explained more by multigene interactions or by rare mutations.[3] In rare cases, autism is strongly associated with agents that cause birth defects.[4] Other proposed causes, such as childhood vaccines, are controversial; the vaccine hypotheses lack convincing scientific evidence.[5] Most recent reviews estimate a prevalence of one to two cases per 1,000 people for autism, and about six per 1,000 for ASD, with ASD averaging a 4.3:1 male-to-female… Read more »

Penangite

You are willing to fry children’s brains for free internet access? DAP please, please take stock and don’t go down the Gerakan route!

Sunny

Autism Rates Increase Drastically again in the 90s Here’s the Autism Increase facts as presented on Buergerwelle’s website: http://www.buergerwelle.de/pdf/autism_increase.doc “I knew that it had gone up from 1 in a 1000 in the 80s to several out of every 100 children in the early 90s but this just shows that the continuing increase in ambient radiation that has occurred in the 90s has made this situation even more and more severe. It’s like “wake up out of your unconsciousness, people! Stop living in denial! Stop thinking that change doesn’t start with you!” I find it amazing that people just don’t… Read more »

rteh

I beg to differ with the LKY. Probably since LKY is an engineer, he a looking it at a different angle. As a small-time businessman and an IT guy, I definitely look it a another angle. Rolling out the wifi and wimax will help users and businesses like me. While we are relying on “streamyx” , it is not mobile. We still need to subscribe to mobile broadband service by the current telco when we are making presentations to clients and potential clients. Being smalltime, our “presentation” are not strictly in offices and meeting rooms. Some are done at mamak… Read more »

Eagle has landed

Everything need to be said had been mentioned. No more argument, has the task force been formed up and come out with the reports base on the issues raised by many bloggers.Don’t delay and no more excuses and if LGE and the state gomen is comfortable, just put on record somewhere and accessible by the public to see the report and decision made for future reference. So apa takut? taransparency and accountability.