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Networking Wireless Networking Hardware

Free Wi-Fi For the Residents of Venice, Italy 153

pmontra writes "The City of Venice, Italy, started to offer free Wi-Fi to residents (Google translation from the Italian source) on July 3 2009. Tourists and other visitors will pay 5 Euros a day for the service starting from September. The hot spots are connected to a ten thousand kilometer (6,250 mile) fiber optic LAN the City started deploying in the '90s. The first day of free Internet access has been celebrated with a digital treasure hunt in the channels of the lagoon city."
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Free Wi-Fi For the Residents of Venice, Italy

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  • by GeneralSunTzu ( 1163223 ) on Sunday July 05, 2009 @01:27AM (#28584771)
    It is important to non-Italians because: 1. it shows Americans that you can get something for free, much to their utter dismay, given the tenets of their society; 2. proves to non-Italians that local authorities do have a purpose in the general path of the Wheel; 3. provides to nerds and geeks of all over the world a reasonable pretext to visit Venice, one of the magic places on the planet That, for me, is enough.
  • Sounds nice (Score:4, Insightful)

    by fearlezz ( 594718 ) on Sunday July 05, 2009 @01:53AM (#28584869) Homepage

    But what about privacy? Internet-cafe's are required to make a copy of your passport when you're using their internet. How much will you be spied on when using the wifi service? I guess all packets are stored "against terrorism/child pornography/critisism on berlusconi". Guess the only way to be safe is to setup a vpn and redirect everything over it.

  • Re:How long ... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by MichaelSmith ( 789609 ) on Sunday July 05, 2009 @01:57AM (#28584879) Homepage Journal

    ... until WiFi access is as ubiquitous as mobile-network access and people pay for usage much the same as for mobile phones.

    Its a bit of a moot point because protocols change all the time and will no doubt converge in the medium term. If you pay a telco for a data service it won't really matter if the service is wifi or 3G in the future.

    My prediction for the next five years or so is that some businesses will stop wiring their offices for data at all. They will use the 3G cellular network with VPNs for secure communication.

  • by dontmakemethink ( 1186169 ) on Sunday July 05, 2009 @02:56AM (#28585035)

    Here's an interesting comparison:

    Paying for bottled water is popular without question in areas where people already pay for perfectly safe drinking water.

    Where free wi-fi is proposed, the debate is virtually always a matter of ethics, and not cost.


    ahem.. I mean, it often encounters far more resistance.

  • by Bluesman ( 104513 ) on Sunday July 05, 2009 @05:46AM (#28585577) Homepage

    Well, let me be the first to say that nothing is truly "free," and this isn't "free" wireless; it's wireless that is paid for through hidden costs (taxes) that Venicians probably did not have a choice but to bear. Adding an intermediary between you and the service provider of nearly any industry can only mean higher costs, because for every intermediate step there's overhead.

    For something as relatively inexpensive as providing wireless access points, the penalty is innocuous for believing you can get something for nothing. Believe that about health care, and the penalty can be rather severe.

    Thus the difference in response.

  • by AmigaMMC ( 1103025 ) on Sunday July 05, 2009 @08:35AM (#28586049)
    >100 Euros for a 30 min gondola ride

    As opposed to $150 for a 10 minutes flight over the Hoover's Dam? You have the option not to do it.

    >400 Euros for a Venetian mask and don't even get me started on the Murrano glass.

    Hand made stuff, man. Not made in China.

    I visited Venice in the off-season, lots of good places to eat for cheap, cheap hotel and few tourists around. Your choice to go when everyone else goes. have you tried Yellowstone in August?

  • Re:Cool! But... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by maxume ( 22995 ) on Sunday July 05, 2009 @09:29AM (#28586255)

    For anyone feeling anecdotal, here is a healthy dose of BS calling: []

Not only is UNIX dead, it's starting to smell really bad. -- Rob Pike