【社评双语道】Wi-Fi龟速热点少 智慧城市沦空谈

2018-05-08 01:50:19  阅读 55 次 评论 0 条
■香港政府在公众地方提供的Wi-Fi,经常被诟病覆盖率低及网速慢。 网上图片
■香港政府在公众地方提供的Wi-Fi,经常被诟病覆盖率低及网速慢。 网上图片

  【原文】政府自2007年起推出Wi-Fi通服务,在选定的政府场地为市民提供免费Wi-Fi服务。不过,审计署根据资科办在去年的周年服务检查结果,发现在3,087个热点中,有1,171个 (38%) 的下载速度未达承诺 ,另有10个无法建立Wi-Fi连线。政府投巨资打造的免费Wi-Fi效果令人失望,明显落后于内地和国际其他城市,完全无法适应香港建设「智慧城市」的要求。香港智慧城市的规划本已前瞻不够,实施起来又拖拖拉拉,只会令香港进一步被边缘化,政府某些部门必须革除懒政、Hea做的陋习,增强本港网络基建,避免香港被全球智慧城市的潮流淘汰。

  智慧城市恐沦空谈

  政府2008年投资5亿港元推出「香港政府Wi-Fi通」计划,为市民及机构提供免费Wi-Fi服务,现建成了3,087个免费Wi-Fi热点,却有近四成网速未能达标;另外政府与私营机构合作在185个公众地方建设Wi-Fi热点,限期前只12个推出服务。政府于2014年8月推出「Wi-Fi.HK」品牌,2016年施政报告计划3年内建成3万4千个免费Wi-Fi热点,如今建成的只有2万多个。进入移动网络年代,快速普及免费的Wi-Fi网络,是最基本的设施,若此基建满足不了市民需求,建设智慧城市只能沦为空谈。

  为市民提供优质免费Wi-Fi网络,是当今世界先进城市的通行做法,由政府投资强力打造、免费提供,国际先进城市早已不再视免费Wi-Fi为商品,而是看成为如同水电一样的必需品。芬兰首都赫尔辛基市内任何地方,均已可透过免费Wi-Fi进行视像通讯和观看高清串流影片。与香港一河之隔的深圳,已实现重要公共场所免费WLAN基本覆盖,重庆已开通的5G试验网,免费试验者获得的网速超过10G,一秒钟就能下载完一部两小时的高清电影。

  Wi-Fi发展落后 损形象断未来

  当今世界,建设智慧城市乃大势所趋,虽然本港2017年12月公布《香港智慧城市蓝图》,就智慧出行、智慧生活、智慧环境、智慧市民、智慧政府及智慧经济这六个主要範畴,提出发展建议,但这个计划,相比国家雄安新区的智慧城市战略、深圳智慧城市规划,已显前瞻性不足。现在香港连免费Wi-Fi的基建都拖拖拉拉,如何让港人对实现香港智慧城市的蓝图有信心?

  见微知着,香港免费Wi-Fi发展不尽如人意,在相当程度上显示香港推动新科技的意识落后,对未来的把握能力和蓝图的实施能力不足,政府推动创新的决心和能力更须跟上时代的步伐,若仍抱任由市场自行运作的心态,损害的不仅是香港国际大都市的形象,更断送掉香港的未来。 (标题及小标题为编辑所加) (摘录自香港文汇报社评26-4-2018)

  Public Wi-Fi is key to smart city

  【译文】GovWi-Fi, introduced by the government in 2007, has been providing free wireless internet access in chosen government venues across the city. But based on the results from the annual service inspections carried out by the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer, the Audit Commission found that download speeds at 1,171 out of 3,087 (38 per cent). GovWi-Fi hotspots are below target, with another ten failing to establish any connection.

  Considering that the government invested heavily on its promotion, GovWi-Fi has turned out to be a disappointment - it is inadequate in suiting the needs of Hong Kong's smart city drive, and is clearly lagging behind our counterparts in mainland China and the rest of the world. The government's plan to build a smart city is lacking in vision already. The authorities' bureaucratic practices and slow pace of action would lead to further marginalisation of Hong Kong. If we do not want to be left in the dust, the authorities must improve their performance and start building up the local network infrastructure.

  GovWi-Fi slammed for slow speed

  In 2008, the government invested HK$ 500 million to launch GovWi-Fi in a bid to provide free Wi-Fi to citizens and organisations. Some 3,087 Wi-Fi hotspots were built ever since, yet the connection speed of nearly 40 per cent of them fails to reach the original target. In another public-private collaboration program, Wi-Fi hotspots were planned to be built in 185 public venues. However, only 12 made it into service before the deadline.

  The government also launched the Wi-Fi.HK brand in August 2014, of which 34,000 free Wi-Fi hotspots were pledged to be built by 2019 according to the 2016 policy address. Today, only around 20,000 are built. In an era of mobile connectivity, Wi-Fi networks that are speedy, ubiquitous and free of charge have become a basic necessity. It is meaningless to talk about building a smart city if even the basic infrastructure fails to meet the demands of the public.

  Wi-Fi has become a basic need

  It is now a trend for modern cities to provide high-quality and free public Wi-Fi networks. For many of our counterparts, Wi-Fi connections are no longer seen as a commodity. Instead, it has become a public utility just like energy and water. For instance, one can watch high-definition streaming videos or make video calls via free Wi-Fi connections anywhere in Helsinki, Finland.

  On the other side of the Shenzhen River, free wireless local area network(WLAN)is now available in all public venues. In Chongqing where a 5G test network has been setup, trial users have enjoyed download speeds of over 10 gigabytes per second(Gbps). With download speed as high as this, a two-hour movie could be downloaded within a second.

  Hong Kong must catch up

  In today's world, it has become an irresistible trend for cities to move towards becoming smart cities. The government did release the Smart City Blueprint for Hong Kong in December 2017, with recommendations being made in the six major areas of "Smart Mobility", "Smart Living", "Smart Environment", "Smart People", "Smart Government" and "Smart Economy".

  However, the blueprint is the least forward-looking one when compared with the smart city strategies of Shenzhen and the Xiongan New Area in mainland China. Given such circumstances, how could the people of Hong Kong be confident in the blueprint if the government could not even build the infrastructure right?

  As one tiny clue reveals the general situation, the perplexity of our free Wi-Fi developments to a certain extent reveals Hong Kong's lack of vision, initiative and awareness in new technologies. The government's determination and ability to promote innovation must keep pace with the times. If the government continues to cling on its laissez-faire mentality, the future of Hong Kong would be gone along with the leading position as a key metropolitan city in the world.

  ■ Jeffrey Tse[ywc_jeffrey@hotmail.com]

  Exercise

  1. 无线区域网络

  2. 无人驾驶汽车

  3. 资讯及通讯科技

  4. 互联网协定通话技术

  5. 第五代行动通讯系统

  Answers

  1. wireless local area network(WLAN)

  2. autonomous car

  3. information and communications technology(ICT)

  4. voice over internet protocol(VoIP)

  5. 5th generation mobile network(5G)

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