Carl Durrek Carl is a gaming fanatic, forever stuck on Reddit and all-around lover of food.

Italy wants to revive its economy with free Wi-Fi

50 sec read

What would you do to stimulate a sluggish economy? Push tourism? Cut taxes? Well, Italy is trying something a little different: free public WiFi. Over 100 legislators have proposed spending €5 million ($6.3 million) over three years to help install gratis hotspots in thousands of locations across the country, including airports, large shopping areas and even courtrooms. Theoretically, the move helps Italy make up for its poor broadband adoption by making internet access virtually ubiquitous. It could also help visitors, many of whom would otherwise stay offline during their stays.

Italian lawmakers have put forward a proposal for free Wi-Fi in thousands of public places to bridge a gap with other European countries in broadband penetration, e-government and other digital services that is dragging on the economy. Under the plan, large shops, taxis, airports, law courts and other public places would have to set up an Internet connection and offer no-password wireless access free. “We are really badly placed when it comes to Internet access,” Sergio Boccadutri, a member of the ruling Democratic Party and sponsor of the proposal, said. “Free Wi-Fi would have a big cultural impact and help the economy recover, starting from industries such as tourism.” The proposal, filed this week, has the support of more than 100 members of parliament and would earmark 5 million euros ($6.3 million) over three years as a contribution to buying equipment. The proposers aim to bring the bill before parliament by mid-2015.

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Carl Durrek Carl is a gaming fanatic, forever stuck on Reddit and all-around lover of food.

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