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Seamless connectivity for villages

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Seamless connectivity for villages

2024-04-20 18:38 Last Updated At:22:59

People usually find rural life a good way to kick back and spend time at a leisurely pace. But to keep up with the pace of modern technology, the copper-based network villagers once relied on for basic telecommunications services has fallen short.

This is why the Government implemented the the Subsidy Scheme to Extend Fibre-based Networks to Villages in Remote Areas that provides telecommunications companies with financial incentives to encourage the extension of fibre-based networks to cover 235 villages in the New Territories and outlying islands. Now, more than 160 villages have already been equipped with fibre-based networks under the subsidy scheme launched by the Office of the Communications Authority.

Expansive connectivity: Over 160 villages are equipped with fibre optic networks under the scheme that will eventually cover 235 villages. Once the relevant works for all villages are completed by 2026, about 110,000 villagers will benefit in total.

Expansive connectivity: Over 160 villages are equipped with fibre optic networks under the scheme that will eventually cover 235 villages. Once the relevant works for all villages are completed by 2026, about 110,000 villagers will benefit in total.

Keeping pace

Since the middle of last year, some villages in Tai O have already been covered by such networks.

Cheung Chi-ming, a merchant in Tai O, highlights the contrast by explaining that back in the day, villagers were stuck with an Internet speed of eight megabits per second, which was shared among all users.

But now, with the fibre-based networks kicking in, they can enjoy high-speed broadband services at a speed of 1,000 megabits per second. And activities like streaming videos and browsing the Internet are seamless, free from disconnections.

The days of network disruptions hindering online transactions and the use of Octopus cards for payment are also gone. Plus, there is no longer a need to ask customers to wait patiently, he said.

Business-friendly network: Cheung Chi-ming (right), a merchant in Tai O, says the installation of fibre-based networks has resulted in smoother electronic transactions at his shop, free from Internet connection interruptions.

Business-friendly network: Cheung Chi-ming (right), a merchant in Tai O, says the installation of fibre-based networks has resulted in smoother electronic transactions at his shop, free from Internet connection interruptions.

Promoting e-learning

In addition to Tai O, some villages in Mui Wo are covered by the scheme, and the construction works to connect the fibre-based networks is underway.

Mui Wo School has experienced improved broadband services with faster and more stable Internet speeds, after the launch of the scheme. Teachers are now able to arrange online interactive teaching more flexibly.

Teacher Henry Wong mentioned that traditional teaching methods, relying on slides and worksheets, were often monotonous. But with such excellent broadband services, up to 30 computer tablets can connect at one time in a classroom.

Teachers can incorporate online games and interactive activities into their lessons. What is more, students are more engaged in their learning experience, creating a happy learning atmosphere.

As another example of the benefit of faster broadband services, the school has introduced a smart rope skipping machine to encourage students to exercise more and teacher Tai Tak-wah explained the benefits.

He said students’ skipping records are instantly stored in the database, which can then be compared with their classmates. It fosters a healthy sense of competition among them. It is all about having fun and staying motivated by comparing the progress with their peers.

Enhancing e-learning: Mui Wo School has experienced improved broadband services with faster and more stable Internet speeds after the launch of the scheme, enabling teachers to arrange online interactive teaching more flexibly.

Enhancing e-learning: Mui Wo School has experienced improved broadband services with faster and more stable Internet speeds after the launch of the scheme, enabling teachers to arrange online interactive teaching more flexibly.

Broadband milestone

The purpose of the scheme, initiated in 2018, is to enhance the coverage of fibre-based networks in villages in remote areas. Moreover, it provides the necessary infrastructure for other telecommunications services, such as 5G mobile and Wi-Fi services, thereby contributing to the development of Hong Kong as a smart city.

Over 160 villages have already been equipped with fibre-based networks, making broadband services available to about 80,000 residents.

Additionally, three submarine fibre cables connecting Lamma Island to Hong Kong Island, as well as connecting Cheung Chau and Peng Chau to Lantau Island respectively have also been completed.

The Office of the Communications Authority (OFCA) Head (Market & Competition) Christine Chim stated that the extension of fibre-based networks to rural areas involves large-scale engineering works, such as road excavation, laying of submarine fibre-based cables and installation of fibre optic networks.

Smart living: Christine Chim says the subsidy scheme enhanced the coverage of fibre-based networks in villages in remote areas, contributing to the development of Hong Kong as a smart city.

Smart living: Christine Chim says the subsidy scheme enhanced the coverage of fibre-based networks in villages in remote areas, contributing to the development of Hong Kong as a smart city.

Some of the projects even need to be constructed over country parks in remote areas without any road connections, leading to a longer implementation time.

The OFCA has been maintaining close contact with the selected fixed network operators, actively monitoring the progress of the engineering works, and also co-ordinating with other government departments to expedite the approval process, such that scheme could be completed as soon as possible.

The relevant works for all villages under the scheme are expected to be completed by 2026 with the goal of benefitting approximately 110,000 villagers in total.

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Special traffic arrangements for race meeting in Happy Valley

2024-05-22 10:26 Last Updated At:10:38

Exciting traffic updates for happy valley race meeting

Special traffic arrangements will be implemented in Happy Valley today (May 22). The arrangements will last until the crowds have dispersed after the race meeting.

A. Traffic arrangements before the commencement of the first race

The following road closure and traffic diversions will be implemented from 6pm onwards:

1. Road closure

Southbound Wong Nai Chung Road between Queen's Road East and the slip road leading to Aberdeen Tunnel will be closed, except for vehicles heading for Aberdeen Tunnel.

2. Traffic diversions

- Southbound Wong Nai Chung Road between Village Road and the slip road leading to Aberdeen Tunnel will be re-routed one way northbound;

- Traffic along eastbound Queen's Road East heading for Wan Chai and Happy Valley will be diverted to turn left to Morrison Hill Road;

- Traffic along southbound Morrison Hill Road heading for Happy Valley will be diverted via Sports Road and Wong Nai Chung Road;

- Traffic along Queen's Road East cannot turn right to Wong Nai Chung Road, except for vehicles heading for Aberdeen Tunnel;

- Traffic from Cross Harbour Tunnel heading for Queen's Road East will be diverted via the down-ramp leading from southbound Canal Road flyover to Morrison Hill Road to turn right at the junction of Wong Nai Chung Road and Queen's Road East; and

- Traffic from Cross Harbour Tunnel heading for Happy Valley or Racecourse will be diverted via the down-ramp leading from southbound Canal Road flyover to Canal Road East, southbound Morrison Hill Road, Sports Road and Wong Nai Chung Road.

B. Traffic arrangements before the conclusion of race meeting

The following road closure and traffic diversions will be implemented from about 35 minutes before the start of the last race:

1. Road closure

- The slip road connecting Wong Nai Chung Road and Aberdeen Tunnel;

- Southbound Wong Nai Chung Road between Queen's Road East and the slip road connecting Wong Nai Chung Road and Aberdeen Tunnel;

- Southbound Wong Nai Chung Road between Village Road and Parsee Cemetery;

- Westbound Leighton Road between Wong Nai Chung Road and Canal Road East; and

- Southbound Morrison Hill Road between Leighton Road and Queen's Road East.

In addition, southbound Wong Nai Chung Road between the up-ramp leading to Aberdeen Tunnel and the Public Stands of Hong Kong Jockey Club will be closed from about 10 minutes before the start of the last race.

2. Traffic diversions

- Eastbound Queen's Road East at its junction with Morrison Hill Road will be reduced to one-lane traffic heading for northbound Canal Road flyover;

- Traffic from Cross Harbour Tunnel heading for Wan Chai will be diverted via the down-ramp leading from southbound Canal Road flyover to Canal Road East, U-turn slip road beneath Canal Road flyover, Canal Road West and Hennessy Road;

- Traffic from Cross Harbour Tunnel heading for Happy Valley will be diverted via the down-ramp leading from southbound Canal Road flyover to Canal Road East, eastbound Leighton Road and Wong Nai Chung Road;

- Traffic along southbound Morrison Hill Road will be diverted to turn left to eastbound Leighton Road;

- Traffic along southbound Morrison Hill Road heading for Happy Valley will be diverted via eastbound Leighton Road and Wong Nai Chung Road; and

- Traffic along westbound Leighton Road will be diverted to Wong Nai Chung Road.

C. Learner drivers prohibition

Learner drivers will be prohibited to turn left from Caroline Hill Road to Leighton Road between one and a half hours before the start of the first race and one hour after the last race. In addition, learner drivers will be prohibited from accessing the following roads within the above period of time:

- Shan Kwong Road between Yik Yam Street and Wong Nai Chung Road;

- Village Road between its upper and lower junctions with Shan Kwong Road;

- Percival Street between Hennessy Road and Leighton Road;

- Canal Road East; and

- The service road leading from Gloucester Road to Canal Road flyover.

D. Suspension of parking spaces

Parking spaces on southbound Wong Nai Chung Road between Sports Road and Blue Pool Road will be suspended from 11am to 7pm during day racing, from 4.30pm to 11.59pm during evening racing, and from 5pm to 11.59pm during night racing.

Any vehicles found illegally parked within the precincts of the above affected areas will be towed away without prior notice.

Actual implementation of road closure and traffic diversion will be made by the Police at the time depending on traffic conditions in the areas. Motorists should exercise tolerance and patience, and follow the instructions of Police on site.

Source: AI-generated images

Source: AI-generated images

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