Vienna plans 400 free Wi-Fi hotspots by 2016
The city of Vienna is set to get even more wired, with 400 new free Wi-Fi access points planned in the next two years.
Vienna already has 13 major city-funded free-surfing spots, with the recent installation of Wi-Fi along the pedestrian shopping street section of Mariahilferstrasse, in front of the Town Hall (Rathausplatz), the Danube Island (Donauinsel), Floridsdorfer Spitz and the MuseumsQuartier.
4.6 kilometres of micro tubes and 2.5km of fibre-optic cable had to be installed for the network to operate. Already, three more locations are under construction, making a total of 60 access points.
Vienna's Greens councillor Maria Vassilakou announced on Wednesday that the city will have a total of 400 new free Wi-Fi access points over the next two years.
Wi-Fi in public transport is also planned in 2015, allowing free surfing in major transit hubs and railway stations, although not on subway trains.
There are already specific suggestions for optimum locations for 305 places, and the City Hall is in consultation with the respective city districts over the detailed plans.
The WLAN is largely mounted on existing infrastructure, Vassilakou stressed. The cost for the construction of the 400 access points will be around €1.9 million, according to city.
A Wi-Fi connection in Vienna will require registration with a mobile phone number.
The amount of time you can surf the Internet is currently limited to eight hours. If the deadline expires, however, you can re-register.
Certain pages will be restricted via the Wi-Fi for the protection of children and young people.
"By expanding the wireless reach of the city's free Wi-Fi service, the entire city of Vienna makes a big step. Free access to the Internet is one sign of a smart city, as well as an excellent public transport network or an efficient energy supply, making Vienna on a par with cities like New York or Barcelona", said Vassilakou.
For a map of current free Wi-Fi access points (including those offered by restaurants and bars), check out this detailed map.