I was 13 years old at the time. It was actually very democratizing. The initial setup fees were not that high. The telecom did not charge special fees for access to international forums. It was a flat rate. As we were not a rich family, I don’t think it’s a privilege, actually.

Taiwanese people already had one of the largest populations of computer users, because a lot of IBM PC clones were manufactured in Taiwan — the CPUs still are manufactured in Taiwan today. So there is a lot of access to the hardware, the critical factor was the Internet Protocol, which linked the hardware together.

It’s very much a societal thing. The government especially cares a lot about Internet access for the rural areas, for the remote islands, and so on. At this moment, around 80 percent of Taiwanese population is online, and we ensure that all the rural areas and the remote islands have access to the 4G high-speed broadband network, as to not lose their connectivity to the rest of the civil society on our island.

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