Tel Aviv to Initiate Free Municipal WiFi Pilot

Jerusalem municipality tried a similar idea in 2004, but abandoned it after encountering technical difficulties.

The Tel Aviv-Jaffa municipality will start a pilot to offer free Wi-Fi Internet access to residents, and visitors, in the city. The test will start in another month and a half on Ben-Gurion Boulevard, and the city wants to expand it to other commercial and public areas of the city in the future.

To help pay for the project, the city may allow the operators to show advertising content to users. The pilot will run for three to four months before the city plans on publishing a tender to expand the service.

But the city has yet to actually develop the financial model for how to pay for the Wi-Fi service, and the cost to the city is estimated at between almost nothing, if supported by advertising, to a few million shekels a year. The city has yet to choose an Internet service provider for the project.

Jerusalem tried a similar idea in 2004, which started in the city center and then expanded - but in the end there were technical problems and users preferred using networks in cafes and places of entertainment.