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Budget Speech

Development as a Smart City

46.    Rapid IT development means swift access to worldwide information.  Capacity in information processing and analysis has become a key component of the competitive edge of modern large enterprises.  Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in all sectors also stand to benefit from making use of IT for greater efficiency.  Hong Kong's IT infrastructure is well developed.  Today, 97 per cent of households are able to access broadband services, and 83 per cent make use of these services.  With 10 000 Wi-Fi hotspots offered by Government and commercial sector, Hong Kong has one of highest concentrations of hotspots in the world.  We also have a high mobile phone penetration rate of 237 per cent.

47.    In fact, we have won wide international recognition for our achievements in areas such as IT infrastructure, internet security and the free flow of information.  Hong Kong was ranked first in International Internet Bandwidth.  As for the Global Innovation Index and Data Centre Risk Index, Hong Kong comes first in Asia.

48.    In the recent fourth update of the Digital 21 Strategy, we have proposed a series of initiatives under the theme of "Smarter Hong Kong, Smarter Living", including the following five –

(a) doubling the number of Wi-Fi hotspots with complete or time-limited free public access to 20 000 by the end of this year through public-private partnership to promote city-wide Wi-Fi for all. We shall engage the public in the naming of a common Wi-Fi brand. Citizens and visitors will have easy and convenient access to Wi-Fi services;
(b) making all government information released for public consumption machine-readable in digital formats from next year onwards to provide more opportunities for the business sector. Currently, Public Sector Information available for free access covers real-time data such as road traffic information, geo-referenced public facility data, property market statistics, population census statistics, etc;
(c) further digitalising government operations and actively implementing paperless solutions to enhance efficiency, facilitate information sharing and protect the environment;
(d) looking into the wider use of the Internet of Things, sensors and big data analytics to enhance our municipal management; and
(e) considering the provision of digital identity to all Hong Kong citizens in order to develop a common, shared and safe platform for the delivery of services such as electronic health records and e-cheques.


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