Free Wi-Fi is something Internet addicts are constantly looking for, especially when travelling. Next time you’re flying to Taiwan, perhaps to catch this year’s IDEAS show 2011, looks like you’re covered as the Taipei city government has just finished implementing the first stage of introducing free public wi-fi throughout Taipei.
Taiwan tech blog TechOrange reports that currently, the free wireless Internet connection is limited to public areas such as the MRT, shopping areas, office areas, hospitals, and libraries. By October, the Taipei City Department of Information Technology estimates that an average of 500,000 people will be using the free service, once the network has expanded to major streets and avenues, residential areas, densely populated public places and at least 800 city buses.
To access the service, you’ll need to apply for an account on the Taipei Free Public Wi-Fi access website, which thankfully is available in English. The quick 3-step registration can be done in minutes but would require a mobile number registered in Taiwan. Alternatively, tourists can use their passports to register at any of the tourism centers across the city.
Don’t even think about lugging your laptop around to download torrents all day as the free WiFi only runs on 512k bandwidth. At least it’s enough to use maps and online English translators that could be pretty handy for tourists in the predominantly Chinese-speaking country.
Check out this quick, handy instruction guide on how to access the network: