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Residents welcome wireless Hangzhou
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08:45, June 17, 2008

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Want to watch a live event on your mobile phone while strolling along scenic West Lake - your wish will soon come true. Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang province, is to launch a citywide broadband network.

The network will cover major traffic arteries, popular tourism sites, and events by the end of next month.

When fully implemented by 2010, the broadband metropolitan area will cover the whole city and its suburbs, enabling civil administrative services such as parking lot charges to be paper-free.

Zheng Xiaolin, deputy general manager of Wasu Digital TV Co, the company that is developing the network, said it will also be able to provide broadband and digital TV services to residents.

"Subscribers can connect to the Internet and watch digital TV programs anywhere in the city. Even a passenger sitting in the back row of a van can enjoy the service as long as the speed of the van does not exceed 40 kph," Zheng said.

Zhang Ying, a 25-year-old company administrator living in Hangzhou, said she is thrilled. "That's amazing. I will be able to drive to the West Lake with my laptop, and enjoy a whole afternoon watching digital TV online by the lake."

Other Hangzhou residents see it as bringing even more benefits, enriching daily life.

"Wireless connection used to be a coffee shop bonus. If the whole city is Internet-connected, I will be able check e-mails and the news when commuting," Ding Jiani, a 26-year-old high-school teacher, said.

Yi Bo, a senior engineer at an IT company, said: "It will propel progress of urban information, and provide easier access for businesspeople who are heavily reliant on the Internet. "

However, Yi said there are some doubts about the effectiveness and sustainability of the network in a walled city of 16,600 sq km.

"How successful it will be will depend on the network's stability and signal strength. I don't think it's going to have a revolutionary impact on people's work and life," Yi said.

Source: China Daily

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