STAFF REPORTER

PALMA
A GREEN area in calle Manacor became the first of its kind in Palma last Spring when it was officially opened as an open space where people from all walks of life could come and use the latest in high-tech communications.

Lap top computers, hand-held multi-purpose gadgets providing internet access such as “Blackberries”, and the latest generation of mobile telephones are the order of the day in this pioneering project located past the parking area in a neighbourhood known as “La Soledad” in the upper part of calle Manacor. The so-called “wi-fi” park had already been pioneered however, in outlying parts of the Island with Digitial District director, Pedro Ramis, saying yesterday that he believed the concept of a 100 percent “wi-fi”city is, in theory, only a step away. The brainchild of Palma City Council, the hi-tech park scheme has been developed in tandem with a programme of recuperating abandoned spaces throughout the municipality and using high technology to give the parks a theme which would unite local residents. Connection points are provided for equipment without incurring electricity costs. Eight months on, the project has gathered momentum and it would seem other run down, disused spaces around the city may well become high-tech parks. Although it is early days, Internet out in the open air without having to pay user costs is a development which is now earmarked for the whole of the Krekovic park and the concept has not been discounted for areas of the city which are architecturally emblematic such as Jaume III and Passeig des Borne down by the Cathedral. The project, however, is not the first in Spain as the concept is based on a high-tech park pioneered in San Sebastian in the northern part of the mainland where a wireless network has been set up from the old part of the city as far as Playa de la Concha on the coast. There is also talk of substituting “wi fi” with a “wimax” system, which, although much more expensive, has the advantage of being able to cover a much wider area, possibly up to 3 kilometres. The facility in calle Manacor has a reach of 100m.

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