Ha Long City now has free Muni Wi-Fi
Ha Long is one of the first municipalities to blanket the city in free Wi-Fi as it hopes ‘Muni-Wi-Fi’ will somehow attract more tourists, facilitate waves of innovation and brand the city as tech-friendly.
But many experts suggest that a single-minded focus on Muni Wi-Fi is misplaced.
To maximize the investment in digital infrastructure, maybe the city should have looked beyond just a cosmetic solution and installed a fibre-optic network, and implemented a public-private model to finance the construction.
The actual benefits of municipal Wi-Fi are limited because most tourists and Vietnamese already have access to the internet, creating a dynamic in which it will most likely only marginally provide any value whatsoever.
Right now, virtually all tourists have access to high-speed internet through their hotels and ever increasing number of Vietnamese have access to the internet either at home or through libraries or school.
Thus, for the masses, municipal Wi-Fi adds little benefit and sounds more like a gimmick that few tourists or experts would take as a serious move to add any significant benefit to commerce or the digitization of the city, sufficient to label it tech-friendly.