The government is now allowing Internet service providers (ISP) to set up their own WiFi hotspots in outdoor areas on the condition that they set aside capacity for the government to provide free WiFi to the public, Macau Post and Telecommunications Bureau (CTT) Director Derby Lau Wai Meng said on Thursday.
Lau made the comments while speaking to reporters after CTM’s launch ceremony of the WiFi service in Largo do Senado where the public can enjoy 60 minutes of free WiFi.
According to Lau, the government previously did not allow Internet service providers to set up their own WiFi hotspots in outdoor areas, but is now allowing them to do so on the condition that they reserve capacity for the government to provide the service free to the public.
“This (new free WiFi service in Largo do Senado) is a partnership between the government and the private Internet service provider [CTM],” Lau said, insisting that the new partnership arrangement would not overlap with the government’s own “WiFi Go” service because there was a huge demand for WiFi services and the two services were complementary to each other.
According to the Macau Post Daily, Lau underlined that under the new partnership strategy, the government does not need to pay anything or use any extra resources. There are currently about 190 “WiFi Go” hotspots in Macau. She said the government would continue to look into other ways to partner with private companies, telecoms and ISPs to increase the number of WiFi hotspots as Macau was striving to become a “smart city”.