First phase of Korea's open source city a success

Kwangju Metropolitan City is gearing for the second phase of its open source transition project, scheduled for completion in 2010.

Korea's fifth-largest city, with a population of 1.4 million, has completed the first phase of its open source adoption strategy.

Gwangju Metropolitan City, which counts auto manufacturing, information appliance and opto-electronics among its main industries, was designated an open source software city by Korea IT Industry Promotion Agency (KIPA) to boost its economy and competitiveness.

City officials said the project will cost US$45.7m and run in three phases that are due to finish in 2010. The first phase covered information strategy planning and surveying areas that would benefit from open source software.

The second phase of the project entails taking the lessons learnt and planning the third phase, which involves replacing existing proprietary software with open source.

The project is expected to see open source used in web server, database server, groupware server, mail server, file server, DNS and monitoring software, as well as on desktops.

Ki-Bong Youn, director of the information management division for Gwangju city, told ZDNet Korea: "In overseas cases, open source is implemented around specially selected areas like database servers or web servers but in Gwangju's case, it is being applied in many sectors, using various solutions."

With the OSS City designation, Gwangju will also establish a software research and development centre with Haansoft.

The Kwangju metropolitan city will petition the Korean administration to support the OSS City project as mid to long term project. Youngmin Yoo of KIPA who is overseeing the current project said, "The OSS City project should lay solid foundation and opportunity for development of unique software and help the software industry continue to thrive."

Hyangseon Lee of ZDNet Korea reported from Seoul