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EU The Almighty Buck The Internet

European Union Will Fund Public Wifi (axios.com) 65

An anonymous reader writes: The European Union is moving towards getting free public wifi into unconnected locations around the bloc. A new agreement will provide 120 million euros to "fund equipment for public free Wi-Fi services in 6,000 to 8,000 municipalities" across the E.U.
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European Union Will Fund Public Wifi

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  • This has to be a payoff of some kind. 20,000 euro isn't enough to pay for significant 'Public Wifi'.

    The money will disappear without a trace. Plop.

  • Starry-eyed idea (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Calydor ( 739835 ) on Tuesday May 30, 2017 @05:53PM (#54513985)

    Funding hasn't been secured for this, just to start somewhere.

    What kind of speeds are we talking? What kind of data caps? If it's like my current mobile data plan in Germany, 500 MB per month is nothing on today's internet. May as well go without entirely.

    • Speed limits? Datacaps? What are you talking about. In many parts of Europe you can happily walk around connecting to WiFi without concerning yourself with those terms.

      • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

        What kind of access rules, how about I retitle free WiFi to what they really intent SpyFi. The access you are talking about is the access into you and not the other way round. Why free WiFi because SpyFi, that's why.

        • Why free WiFi? Because access boosts the economy. As for spying, you're naive to think they will do more or less than any other ISP, and stupid if you're not already taking countermeasures*.

          *This post not seen by my ISP due to HTTPS.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 30, 2017 @06:17PM (#54514095)

    We've hit the point where the (depressingly high) percentage of the western world that's willing and able to pay for the privilege of being tracked 24/7 has already done so, so now it's time to pick up the stragglers by giving it away for free. The ones who still refuse will eventually be forced in as it gets increasingly difficult to participate in the modern world without internet access.

    • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

      We've hit the point where the (depressingly high) percentage of the western world that's willing and able to pay for the privilege of being tracked 24/7 has already done so, so now it's time to pick up the stragglers by giving it away for free. The ones who still refuse will eventually be forced in as it gets increasingly difficult to participate in the modern world without internet access.

      How funny it is. When free WiFi came out over a decade ago everyone flocked it to for free internet access. I think Sta

  • by Cryofan ( 194126 )

    back a few years ago when it looked like maybe there might be a wireless alternative to comcast time warner, there was a sudden explosion of people and nonprofit organizations claiming that there were many people suffering from wifi sensitivity...I believe that these were bogus claims being backed by money from comcast, time warner etc...watch for wifi allergy complaints to make a comeback if this idea takes off

    • back a few years ago when it looked like maybe there might be a wireless alternative to comcast time warner,

      Might be? We've had wireless internet in this area for a decade now at least. I'd say there can be a wireless alternative, if only someone thought there would be profit in providing it.

      And don't get me started on how useless the local uni has made the 2.4G band by blanketing campus in WiFi nodes. It's so bad that you can find places where you can't use a bluetooth headset and the headset is 6 inches from the device.

      wifi sensitivity...I believe that these were bogus claims being backed by money from comcast, time warner etc.

      It's fun to spread conspiracy theories, but don't discount the dumb factor and fear of the u

    • watch for wifi allergy complaints to make a comeback if this idea takes off

      This is the EU, not the USA. We actually have mental health care here.

  • If my phone can get on WiFi for free, I will not need cellular services — Facetime/WhatsApp/Hangouts some other VoIP will kill cellular service.

    Cellular carriers know this and are sitting on their hands. I predict one (or more of the following):

    The free WiFi will suck
    Though this goes without saying, because it will be government-managed, it will suck especially badly to keep people from cancelling their cell-plans the way they are already cancelling their "land" lines.
    The free WiFi will be limited
    • Fellow Americans can get a taste of the "free" government-provided WiFi by buying an Amtrak ticket and trying to use Amtrak's WiFi during their trip...

      Amtrak is quite up-front about the limits on the WiFi they provide and why. They aren't intending to be a full service ISP.

      • by mi ( 197448 )

        Amtrak is quite up-front about the limits on the WiFi they provide and why.

        So would've been Facebook's "Free Basics" Internet-service in poor countries — denounced by all the progressives [theguardian.com] and, indeed, banned by India's government [slashdot.org] already... Because KKKorporations are evil and mean only to enslave you, whereas government-provided services always have good reasons for their limitations...

        They aren't intending to be a full service ISP.

        However you justify its deficiencies, the "free WiFi" being discussed

  • EU loves infrastructure projects that serves its only true goal: create an optimum currency zone [wikipedia.org].

    This project require capital and labor to be perfectly mobile within the zone, hence the subsided transport and communication projects where free market failed to create the approriate conditions

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