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Hamburg to Expand Free Wifi Network in the City

Hotspots to increase to 7,000 access points. to challenge Deutsche Telekom and Kabel Deutschland-

Access to wireless Internet, free of charge and all over downtown: this is the vision for Hamburg’s heart. In co-operation with public institutions, the Elbe city plans to offer the country’s largest inner-city wireless Internet access by 2016 at the latest

7,000 New Access Points

The German Telecom and Kabel Deutschland already operate numerous hotspots in Hamburg. However, surfing the wireless network of Telekom with 700 locations in the city is only free of charge for one hour per day. Free access to Kabel Deutschland’s 62 Hamburg hotspots is limited to 30 minutes. To change this, the Thiele affiliate plans to invest several million euro into the expansion of the network, to install 7,000 access points, and to refinance the free city wifi by ads. Their investments would increase access to free wifi by ten times.

Biggest Problem: Liability

The biggest challenge to the development of wireless Internet access in Germany is the so-called nuisance liability, making cafes, restaurants, and other providers of free wifi responsible for all their customers do on the net. In neighboring countries such as France, there is not such liability. Thus, wifi is everywhere. Hamburg, however, wants to pursue its wireless initiative, with the Hamburg Senate encouraging public authorities and private operators to offer such networks.

source and further details:
own research, dpa

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