After an agreement was reached between the province of Rome and the regional members of the national confederation of small enterprises (CNA), the provision of free wireless internet is to become a reality in 4,200 public premises in Rome and the surrounding area.
The deal will see wi-fi internet connections installed in 1,500 bars and restaurants, 1,300 hairdressers and beauticians, and 1,400 food shops. These businesses will join the free wi-fi network known as Provincia Wireless, already present in 500 hotspots in the region with over 55,000 subscribers.
Province of Rome president Nicola Zingaretti, who won his 2008 election campaign on the back of making internet freely available to everyone, described the initiative as modernising Rome and stated that it would provide tourists with a greater service and make the city more competitive in future.
2010 saw the installation of free wi-fi coverage in many of Rome's public areas such as parks and piazzas including Piazza Bologna, Piazza Vittorio, Piazza S. Cosimato, Piazza S. Giovanni Bosco, Piazzale della Radio, Villa Carpegna, Parco del Forte Ardeatino, Parco di Villa Bonelli, Via Oderisi da Gubbio, Pigneto and the Giordano Bruno library.