Minister of Science and ICT Choi Kiyoung (left) on Dec. 14 tests free Wi-Fi on a bus at a bus terminal in Seoul’s Yeouido district at an event to mark the launch of the nationwide service. (Ministry of Science and ICT)

By Elena Kubitzki and Lee Hana

The country has achieved a world first by offering free Wi-Fi on all city buses nationwide.

The Ministry of Science and ICT on Dec. 14 said a combined 35,006 city buses were equipped with free Wi-Fi as part of the policy initiative Korean New Deal.

From 2018 until October this year, the Moon administration and 16 local government bodies installed free Wi-Fi in city buses.

The ministry said that between May last year and October this year, 420 million passengers connected to Wi-Fi on buses.

The data volume used through this service was around 16,000 terabytes, or the equivalent needed to watch 14 million movies in HD.

The government said free Wi-Fi on public buses will generate up to KRW 220 billion in economic benefits over the next three years.

Minister of Science and ICT Choi Kiyoung said, “In a contactless era brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, public Wi-Fi is an important means of lowering public worry over communication expenses. As the first country in the world to offer free Wi-Fi on all city buses nationwide, we are making history in Wi-Fi capabilities as well as our responses to COVID-19.”

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