Beginning this month, the Taipei City
Government is offering every city resident three
hours of free Internet training.
The training is part of Mayor Ma Ying-jeou’s “Easy
City” project, which aims to bring low-cost broadband
access to every Taipei resident.
Much of the necessary rewiring work will be paid for
by private-sector cable television operators, leaving
most of the NT$3 billion (US$9.72 million) budgeted
for “Easy City” in 2000 available for education.
“I want everyone to wake up and read an electronic
paper, then use the Internet to check traffic
conditions and see which parking garages still have
empty places,” Ma was quoted by Reuters as saying.
Taipei City Government has been offering free e-mail
accounts to locals since October. So far, more than
70,000 city residents have taken advantage of the
Other cities around Taiwan have followed
suit, most recently Taichung, the
island’s third-most populous municipality.
Ma is not the only Taiwanese politician pushing
Internet use. On an islandwide level, candidates ahead
of March’s presidential election have been pledging to
place more government services online and improve the
ratio of PCs to school students.
schools have an average of one computer per 18
In Taipei, it is now possible to use the Net to
ascertain if a particular plot of land is zoned for
commercial, residential or industrial use.
process takes less than ten minutes; off-line, it
takes at least two working days.