Paris to offer free Wi-Fi broadband to citizens and visitors

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Paris to offer free Wi-Fi broadband to citizens and visitors

Antony Savvas

Citizens and visitors to Paris are to get free access to Wi-Fi broadband internet across the capital.

In the UK, BT and local authorities have made big noises about “wireless cities” being built by BT using Wi-Fi, but these only allow users to get access to a council intranet.

To surf the web, UK users in the cities covered by the Wi-Fi networks have to pay.

A number of US cities already offer or are planning to offer free citywide Wi-Fi access.

The city of Paris has jointly awarded Alcatel-Lucent and SFR, the second largest mobile telecoms operator in France, a contract to supply and integrate the first urban Wi-Fi network in France.

Alcatel-Lucent will integrate and deploy the turnkey Wi-Fi network. SFR will be responsible for the operation, monitoring and maintenance of the Wi-Fi network, as well as the customer service and the Web portal.

The launch of the network will take place in the third quarter of 2007.

The Wi-Fi network enables the city of Paris to offer broadband wireless using 400 new access points.

Citizens and visitors will benefit from access to Wi-Fi services free of charge, confirmed the suppliers.

Related article: BT names another five “wireless cities”

The inaugural Pan-European Congress for Municipal Wireless Networks

More on wireless cities: http://www.wirelesscities.org

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