back to article EU €120m Wi-Fi spend explained, but not excused

The deputy head of "Unit broadband" - a section of the European Commission dealing with “investment in high-capacity networks” - Herve Dupuy, flew into London to attend the Wi-Fi Now conference last week. He ran headlong into a combination of fulsome praise and dramatic criticism. The first was from the founder and owner of …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    why not...

    Just offer free wifi for 3 years to a "public" service such as a library or sports facility.

    Seems much more simple and easier to tell if said 'thing' is a real place.

    I cant see many people arguing with the EU paying the libraries internet.

    Everyone and their dog offer free wifi (in exchange for spamming you forever)... do we need an EU wifi.

    Actually, in a little while we wont be eligible so being from UK, i'll shut up now. Waste the money EU, soon not our problem. (c'mon, gotta find the positives, even you stanch remainers).

    1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

      Re: why not...

      In my opinion, it's not about making Junker popular, it's about making the EU popular with the proles.

      Just like the roads that were built in Spain with big signs saying "The lovely EU paid for this", I'm sure these Wifi hotspots will have an interstitial page or something telling people about how great the EU is for giving them "free" wifi.

    2. Annihilator
      Unhappy

      Re: why not...

      Given there seems to be only 2 or 3 libraries left in the UK, opened seemingly just 8 hours per week that wouldn't be a particularly costly exercise the run these days,

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: why not...

        And yet some of those local councils who are not in debt not only don't appear to be closing their libraries, but are actually spending money replacing them.

  2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

    Jean-Claude Juncker, who would rather be popular than achieve anything serious in his time in office.

    The man has a God complex, he doesn't seem to care about being popular or serious, except in his own circle of cronies.

    1. Yes Me Silver badge

      Juncker isn't relevant

      Yeah, never miss a chance to sneer. As it happens I think that central financing is the wrong way to fund municipal activities of any kind. The central actions should focus on ensuring that regulations don't prevent such projects (for example, by unduly protecting incumbent operators). Municipal authorities are best placed to decide how to provide for their citizens and voters. So this isn't a particularly good EU project, unlike many others.

  3. Tom Wood

    Ever read your own articles?

    Read the first few paragraphs of this article and tell me what it's about.

    "extending the reach of Wi-Fi" could mean anything, to me it sounds like some research to extend the range of a single access point.

    But no, apparently it's to do with adding public Wi-Fi hotspots. Yet the word "hotspot" doesn't appear until paragraph 15.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "every MuniWi-Fi project ever launched has been switched off"

    Wrong. HotCity, the municipal Wi-Fi in Luxembourg (the small pond where Junker was formerly a big fish) has been going ten years and is still expanding, helped by a spurt last year when Luxembourg held the rotating presidency of the Council of the EU. Mind, if you have 4G, you'll do much better than HotCity's single-digit Mbps cap.

    1. Chris Miller

      Re: "every MuniWi-Fi project ever launched has been switched off"

      There were lots of signs up for the Glasgow system when I was there a couple of weeks ago. I didn't try to use it, since (as you say) 4G is more than adequate. Anyone know how it's going?

    2. hplasm Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: "every MuniWi-Fi project ever launched has been switched off"

      "HotCity, the municipal Wi-Fi in Luxembourg "

      Doesn't it just use 1 Access point* to cover the whole country? Luxembourg is quite small...

      *and that has only just switched from Long Wave to Medium Wave (1951 is recent...).

      1. Coat on, Go!
        Coat

        Re: "every MuniWi-Fi project ever launched has been switched off"

        Fab 208 - now that that was a Wireless Hot Spot.

  5. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

    4G

    The other day there was talk about opening up in-country network-to-network roaming to allow people to get better access to 4G.

    Instead of pursuing muniWiFi could it be better to just use 4G?

    To be honest, a lot of times I go to places that offer free wifi (coffee shops, burger joints, even my local town's muniWifi) and I actually ignore wifi and use 4G because the performance is better and I don't need to faff about going through 'welcome to the wifi network, please click heer to continue' web page

    1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

      Re: 4G

      "Please enter your name, address, email address and mobile number in this form that is bizarrely not designed to fit on a mobile phone's screen"

      1. Tom_

        Re: 4G

        And then it asks you the same thing every two or three minutes until you give up.

    2. Yes Me Silver badge

      Re: 4G

      Most "free" WiFi isn't free. It's paid for via the overpriced coffee in the coffee shop, etc. And it was designed for the laptop era, where going through a splash page is no bother. Unfortunately, the same seems to be true of most municipal "free" WiFi too. These days, given the prevalence of smartphones, the only useful "free" WiFi is one without a splash page or WPA2 password. And you can bet that the 4G operators will lobby hard against that because it hurts their bottom line.

      And yes, free WiFi is free for spammers and malware too, so your device had better have proper on-board security. But that goes for 4G too.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A speed-limited service is ideal - it provides basic connectivity for foreigners who don't have (affordable) mobile roaming, while discouraging locals from using it versus a fixed/cellular connection (thus not pissing off the local operators).

    In the majority of town centres in Poland, there is exactly that service. No silly signup pages on most either. Shopping centres and airports have similar but with a landing page (just hit the obvious button if you can't understand the text) - particularly of note is that I never had to put any personal details in for any of them.

    However, over here in Blighty... we have to give everything up to our inside leg measurements and/or pay extortionate amounts to use the available hotspots.

    I know which system I prefer.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Comments included musings that every MuniWi-Fi project ever launched has been switched off"

    That doesn't necessarily mean they haven't achieved their goal. In the early days of WiFi and ADSL, municipal networks were in some cases the only way people could get internet access at all. As the reach of ADSL expanded and phone data bundles became more affordable, the need for a muni network ceases to exist.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Dupuy admitted that Spain was a problem"

    He doesn't know the half of it. :-(

    1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

      Re: "Dupuy admitted that Spain was a problem"

      The bloody French are the biggest problem.

      Oh sorry, we're talking about municipal wifi.

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