Official: Beijing Olympics to provide sufficient, convenient Internet access to reporters
2008-07-30 20:27:06 [ Big Normal Small ]     Comment

Special report: 2008 Olympic Games

by Xinhua writer Meng Na

BEIJING, July 30 (Xinhua) -- A Beijing Olympic Games organizing committee official said here on Wednesday that all journalists covering the Games would enjoy "sufficient and convenient Internet access."

"Your reporting on the Games will not be affected," Sun Weide, a media official with the organizing committee, told the reporters at a press conference held in the Main Press Center (MPC).

"Our promise was that journalists would be able to use the Internet for their work during the Olympic Games, so we have given them sufficient access to do that," said Sun, in response to some reporters' questions about the difficulty they met in trying to browse certain websites.

Not far from the press conference room, some journalists were busy doing their jobs through the Internet.

In the main press workroom on the first floor of the MPC, Cristian Mihai Preda, a photographer working for a Romania sports media, was sending pictures back to the editors via the Internet.

"I am satisfied with the Internet service here. The price is reasonable and I can be on-line at any time. It's convenient," said Preda, adding that he bought a WLAN card which would give him access to the wireless connection both in the MPC and all Games venues.

Ju-Nie Shen Muller, sports editor of the World Journal, the largest Chinese language newspaper in North America, said that she found the Olympic Internet service "speedy and stable."

"My articles can be sent back to editing office very smoothly, and I can go every website I must go, to find the information I need in my reporting from the Internet," she said.

She said her only worry was whether the Internet operation capacity could remain stable when the number of users surges after the opening of the Games.

Celso Paiva, a Brazilian journalist, shared her experience. "Until now, I don't have any problem to access the news websites which I need, and the Internet is fast here," he told Xinhua.

According to a staff surnamed Hu who was on duty in the main press workroom of the MPC, although the Games are not open yet, there have been an average of 150 reporters from both China and abroad coming to work here every day. Most of them have bought one of the three kinds of Olympic Broadband IC cards, namely the broadband IC card, WLAN, and WLAN plus info 2008, she said.

Renting a Broadband IC card or a WLAN from July 25 to August 25 costs 3,500 yuan (500 US dollars), while renting a WLAN plus info 2008 costs 8,450 yuan.

Also on the first floor, there is an Internet bar with 24 computers, sponsored by Lenovo, the leading Chinese computer manufacturer, which provides free Internet access from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. every day.

One of its managers, He Wenfeng, told Xinhua that there are around 100 visitors surfing the Internet here every day. Sixty to seventy percent of the users are foreigners. They came here both for work and entertainment.

"Lenovo built seven other Internet bars like this in the Olympic Villages in Beijing, Qingdao and Hong Kong," he added.

At around 1 p.m. Wednesday, Gregory Alan Miller, a technician from Australia for broadcasting technician support, was surfing the Internet in the bar.

"I just sent a couple of e-mails, and now I'm browsing news here. The Internet service is quite convenient here," he said.


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