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Wired With Wireless - Enabling Learning Anytime Anywhere

Mr Khoong Hock Yun, Assistant Chief Executive, Industry Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore Speech at CIO-Forum Signing Ceremony, Guild House, National University of Singapore

Mr Khoong Hock Yun, Assistant Chief Executive, Industry
Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore
Speech at CIO-Forum Signing Ceremony, Guild House, National University of Singapore
Singapore, 16 February 2004

Dr. N. Varaprasad, Deputy President, NUS
Mr Tommy Hor, Chairman, IHL-CIO Forum & Director, Computer Centre, NUS
Ladies & Gentlemen,
Good morning.

The Internet - Humble Beginning

1. The Internet had its humble beginning in 1969 as a research project involving four U.S. universities. It was originally designed by researchers to create a network of geographically separated computers that could exchange information between learning institutions.

The Internet - Widespread Adoption

2. Since then, the rapid expansion of the use of Internet continued to be driven by the academic community. This does not come as a surprise as information is the lifeblood of any learning environment, and it is here where the need to access and exchange information is probably the greatest. The need to connect, communicate and acquire knowledge beyond textbooks and classrooms provided significant impetus for the development of the Internet. Today, the Internet is a widespread information and communication infrastructure that is accessible to hundreds of millions of people worldwide, just like the telephone.

Connectivity Anytime, Anywhere

3. Dr Martin Cooper, the inventor of the cellular phone, told me that the impetus for his revolutionary discovery was the burning question, "why must a telephone be chained to the wall?" With this creative spark, the ignition of the world's most popular communication device took place. In the same way, we ask - why must Internet access be bound to a desk? The vision of anytime, anywhere access to the Internet will characterise the connected world of tomorrow. Recognising this, IDA launched the Wired With Wireless programme in 2000 to promote the development of wireless access, anytime, anywhere.

4. Today's EDUWIN initiative is another significant step towards realising this vision. By linking the wireless networks of all the IHLs, EDUWIN gives students the added flexibility to access the internet from any of the campuses using one account.

5. Extending the learning environment beyond academic campuses, IDA is collaborating with the National Library Board (NLB) to expand the existing wireless network coverage to all public libraries, by middle of this year. Thus, IHL students will be able to roam between their campuses and library hotspots using their existing academic accounts.

6. The IHL students can enjoy this added facility in the libraries at an attractive price package of $5 for 20 hours of access each month, starting with the Woodlands, Toa Payoh, Orchard and Marine Parade libraries, from mid-March.

Gaining a Head Start for Tomorrow's Interconnectivity

7. Moving forward, IDA will continue to develop the wireless industry and promote network architectures that enable users to roam between hotspots island-wide. IDA and Intel Corporation have also been working closely to enable the inter-working of wireless LAN hotspots with cellular and broadband networks. This will further support our efforts to enable anytime, anywhere connectivity be it at school, at work or at play.

8. Earlier, we saw how the learning environment has helped shape the development of the Internet. I'm confident it will continue to be a launching pad for future wireless technologies and innovations, starting with EDUWIN today.

9. With this, I thank you. Have a nice day!