Monday, December 04, 2006

Free (almost island-wide) WIFI in Singapore till Dec 2009

In case you are not aware, it's official -- not just two but three years of free WIFI in selected spots in Singapore:
Following the announcement on 10 October 2006 by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, that Singapore will get to enjoy two years of free wireless broadband connections from January next year, the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) today announced that the three Wireless@SG operators have extended this free offering to three years. Users can also begin to enjoy wireless connectivity from 1 Dec 2006, one month ahead of schedule at selected hotspots for a start.
(Source: www.ida.gov.sg; See - www.ida.gov.sg/idaweb/marketing/infopage.jsp?infopagecategory=&infopageid=I3967&versionid=3
Last accessed 4th Dec 2006

www.ida.gov.sg/Programmes/20061027174147.aspx?getPagetype=36

Last accessed 20 Jan 2007)

The news has been reported/ blogged at Engadget, InfoWorld and CNET, just to name a few.

Since 1 Dec 2006, users can sign up with any of the three Wireless@SG network operators. The offer is open to all residents and visitors in Singapore. Sign up with any operator and you will gain access to all Wireless@SG hotspots (regardless of operator). I suppose the only consideration you have might be which operator you'd prefer to receive the occasional advertisement.

Signing up is a breeze, as I've found. I signed up with Singtel (somehow I was influenced by Siva -- the power of blogging!). OK, there was maybe a slight hitch -- when I first tried to visit the Singtel sign-up page, I didn't get a code dump like Siva did but I encountered a 404 error message. However, refreshing the browser cleared the problem and I was able to register and get an account within minutes.

When you register, you have a choice of either the free access or a premium service (with higher bandwidth). Make sure you choose the right one.

I'm quite excited about this free WIFI service, not because I see myself using a lot of the island-wide WIFI. If it's for work purposes, the office wired connection is a better choice. If I'm not working, I don't relish lugging around my laptop (maybe if I get a PDA with WIFI or upgrade my mobile phone).

What I am excited about is that the concept of Ubiquitous Learning (which I blogged about back in July 2005, and here) is one step closer to reality.

I still don't have a clear idea how exactly that "Ubiquitous" concept will play out. All I have is some vague idea that it requires instantaneous access to communication and data storage/ file sharing platforms (including blogs, web-based emails).

If you're wondering why I'm interested in the topic of "ubiquitous learning", it's related to a project that I'm tasked to oversee. In the off-chance you come across something on that topic, I'd be grateful for your lead.


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