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Seoul unveils plan to make life ‘smarter’

The Seoul Metropolitan Government unveiled Wednesday a road map to make life “smarter” by expanding IT services.

Currently, free wireless Internet services are available in 83 percent of the city, with the number of smart device users exceeding the 10 million mark in March.
The South Korean capital, one of the most-wired cities in the world, plans to extend the free Wi-Fi network at all public buildings, including the city hall, district offices and community centers by 2015 and expand the coverage to every corner of the city in stages.

In a bid to narrow the “IT gap” among citizens, the city will offer annual special training programs to 200,000 underprivileged people, including senior citizens and disabled people.

All administrative services will be available online through mobile devices by 2014.

By 2015, Seoul will increase the real-time monitoring rate of closed-circuit TV cameras from the current 30.7 percent to 100 percent. By using about 10,000 cameras, the city aims to lower its crime rate by more than 10 percent.

The “U-Child Safety Service,” which allows parents to check the location of their children, will be extended to 387 elementary schools and to low-income households.

The city will also disclose about 35 percent of computerized public information to its citizens so they can use the data in their business activities. City officials estimate the economic value of public data to be disclosed would reach up to 1.2 trillion won.

As part of efforts to better protect its IT systems, the city will increase the number of computer security officials from the current 6,000 to more than 10,000.

“The information technology, which has dramatically advanced over the past 20 years, will be upgraded again through the city’s smart programs. We will apply IT services to all city administration fields, including administrative and welfare affairs,” said Mayor Oh Se-hoon.

By Lee Ji-yoon (