KT hopes to use tech to help clean up Boracay

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KT hopes to use tech to help clean up Boracay


KT Chairman Hwang Chang-gyu, far right, explains the technology applied in Korea’s Baengnyeong Island to the acting Secretary of Philippines’ Department of Information and Communications Technology Eliseo Mijares Rio Jr., second from left, and secretary-in-waiting Gregorio Honasan, far left at a meeting in KT’s Gwanghwamun building in central Seoul on Tuesday. [KT]

KT top brass met with Filipino leaders on Tuesday to discuss using technology to help in the country’s cleanup of Boracay, a resort island that the government recently shut down over tourism-related pollution.

KT Chairman Hwang Chang-gyu met with top representatives from the Philippines’ Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) in Seoul to discuss ways to cooperate in developing digital technologies in the island country.

The Korean mobile carrier offered to launch a “Smart Boracay” project aimed at redeveloping the island’s natural environment and making it a safer and more convenient destination after the six-month tourism shutdown ends.

The island was closed to tourists by the government starting on April 26, as rapid development and pollution by visitors have ruined the local environment.

The government plans to demolish illegal buildings, repair sewage systems and improve telecommunications and electricity systems during the six months.

The Korean mobile carrier hopes to install high-quality public wireless internet infrastructure as well as intelligent closed-circuit television to better monitor the behavior of tourists. The company also plans to offer smart energy solutions to help the island track and manage solar energy generation and consumption.

President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines plans to invest roughly 180 trillion won ($169 billion) into improving basic infrastructure to invigorate the country’s economy by 2022, when his term ends.

KT sees the project an opportunity that will help it take part in a series of other telecommunications infrastructure projects.

“We are attempting to go global not only by exporting our expertise in telecommunications networks, but also by applying the latest digital technologies to various areas like energy, data security and safety,” Hwang said.

BY KIM JEE-HEE [kim.jeehee@joongang.co.kr]
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