The town of Mijas in Malaga has just launched a project which is the first of its kind in Spain: free, wireless WIMAX Internet connection for anyone living in the town and surrounding rural areas, as well as a new system of e-government with the launch of a web that will offer inhabitants of Mijas the possibility of carrying out all sorts of official transactions online.
Mijas Digital was launched a year ago with the following core objectives: To make new technologies available to all citizens of Mijas; to create a municipal telecommunications network to give support to new services offered; to facilitate the extension and incorporation of new technologies into all social and economic sectors of the town; and to reduce the digital divide that currently exists at different levels of society.
It is an admirable effort in a country which still occupies one of the bottom places in rankings of Internet use among EU member states despite attempts (generally rather feeble and lacking in terms of vision and practical policies it has to be said) of the present and former Spanish governments to encourage domestic and commercial use of new technologies and e-commerce in Spain.
Yesterday the Mayor of Mijas used a video conference with an neighbours’ association in Valtocado and the Deputy Mayor of nearby Las Lagunas to officially launch the new wireless WIMAX network which already links up 70 percent of the area of Mijas, including three rural areas ( Osunillas, Valtocado and Entrerríos with a capacity for 60 connections in each case) and 20 different municipal spots.
The project integrages WIMAX, WIFI and PLC technologies and the authorities have been carrying out tests with 70 local volunteers to test the speed and conexion of the new network.
According to a press release sent out by Mijas Town Hall today, the service represents a revolution for the rural areas of Mijas, and the extension and capacity of the new wireless network will be steadily increased over the coming months.