GEORGETOWN, March 4 – Penang Free WiFi service users in the island and mainland can now expect faster speed when they access the Internet following the Penang State Government’s move to upgrade the backhaul bandwidth by 500%. With the 5-fold increase in backhaul bandwidth from 75Mbps to 375Mbps, users of the free WiFi service will now be able to enjoy a faster speed of 1Mbps compared to 512kbps previously.
A component of the [email protected] initiative, the Penang Free WiFi service was launched 2009 by the state government to provide 24/7 free Internet access to public places as part of its plan to boost broadband penetration in the state. Today, there are 1,550 hotspots located in all the state’s 40 constituencies where one can access the free service. The service provider of Penang Free WiFi is integrated telecommunications solution provider, REDtone.
Since its launch six years ago, the free WiFi service has understandably been very popular and today, has close to 600,000 registered users! An average 20,000 users log in to the service daily with usage peaking at 75Mbps from 11am to 10pm. This has caused congestion and slowdown in the speed prompting the state government to enhance the bandwidth with an additional 300Mbps to benefit the users.
The upgrade was announced today by the Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and YB Chow Kon Yeow, the Penang broadband czar, who handled discussions with Redtone, at a press conference today that was also attended by REDtone International Bhd’s President &Chief Business Officer, Shaifubahrim Saleh.
The additional bandwidth will cost the Penang state government an additional RM25,000 monthly, from RM129,200 to RM154,200, which is 19.3% of increment for a 5-fold increase backhaul bandwidth and doubling of speed. Those who have yet to register as user of the Penang Fee WiFi service can do so easily by searching and connecting to the Penang Free WiFi SSID and completing the necessary particulars as prompted. Hotspots where the free WiFi service is available are clearly indicated with signages.