Tourist Tip #334 / Tel Aviv Launches Free Wi-Fi Citywide, Almost

You can now surf the Web not only at restaurants and hotels but at the beach, in parks and in fact (almost) everywhere.

The Startup Nation takes its free Wi-Fi pretty seriously: Most Israeli cafes and restaurants have networks set up for their clientele's use, hotels generally offer the service and, unlike some other airports around the world, Ben-Gurion International lets Internet junkies and workaholics surf for free.

The Tel Aviv municipality got in on the action this week as well, launching a free citywide Wi-Fi network that, when complete, will include 80 Internet hotspots across the city. Sixty hotspots are up and running, while 20 more – in places like the Cinematheque and the Florentin neighborhood – are on the way.

The citywide Wi-Fi initiative spans more than 3.6 million square meters, allowing locals and visitors to connect at the beach, along main boulevards, at tourist attractions like the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, shopping areas like Dizengoff Street and some local parks.

City Hall dubs the effort part of its "digital revolution" for Tel Aviv, which includes "Digi-Tel" cards that offer residents special discounts, apps that enable them to pay bills from mobile devices and the creation of GIS (geographic information system) maps that help users better navigate the city and its services.

The Wi-Fi project was done in collaboration with Motorola and, according to some reports, cost some NIS 6 million.

Now to the main question: How do you connect? Search for the FREE_TLV network and be on your merry wireless way.

Eran Wolkowski