TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Paris Wants Wireless Internet Access Across City

Paris Wants Wireless Internet Access Across City

Reuters News Wire (
Tue, 4 Jul 2006 17:35:27 -0500

Paris wants blanket wireless Internet cover by the end of 2007,
helping to make it the most connected capital city in the world, Mayor
Bertrand Delanoe said on Tuesday.

Under a new plan, the city hopes to set up 400 free WiFi access points
next year and allow Internet service providers to install antennae on
strategically-located public property.

"We will act fast and firmly ... to create the most favorable
conditions for Paris," Delanoe told reporters at city hall. "It is a
decisive tool for international competition and thus important for the

The plan also calls for slashing taxes on companies that lay down
fiber optic cables in a drive to have 80 percent of all buildings
within the city connected to so-called 'ultra-high speed' fiber optic
networks by 2010.

"Sixty percent of Parisian households already have high-speed
connections. ... Our goal will be not only to maintain this but also
to move a step ahead," Delanoe said.

License fees for fiber optic cables already snaking through the city's
sewer system would be cut by 25 percent, and the tax break would go up
to 90 percent for the first 400 meters of new cables that branch out
to connect buildings currently lacking the high-speed lines.

The free wireless access points -- to be located in parks, squares,
libraries, and public areas -- will be set up by private firms that
win contracts to be awarded in early 2007.

The project will also experiment with free WiFi access for an entire
city quarter by the end of 2007.

Delanoe said he would be submit the plans for city council approval
early next week.

Copyright 2006 Reuters Limited.

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