The city of Arezzo will soon host one of the first Italian municipal WiFi networks, thanks to an agreement with FON and the involvement of its citizens, who will share their Internet connections and contribute to the roll out of the network.

The municipality will install FON Hotspots in strategical locations all around the city. Citizens who want to access the network for free will have a chance to become Foneros and share their own broadband connections, expanding the coverage of the network. Citizens who won’t contribute to the network, tourists and anybody visiting the city who is not a Fonero, will still have a chance to access the Internet for free for 15 minutes (watching a 15 seconds video ad) or will be able to buy a daily pass for 3 euros.

The municipality will also use the network to inform and communicate with citizens and tourists, using the welcome page of a custom built portal. FON offers a sustainable solution for municipalities that want to build a muni WiFi network with limited investment and the direct involvement of their citizens in the roll out of the network.

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Esme Vos on July 30, 2008  · 

Very good news. I have been to Arezzo, love the city. I will post this on Muniwireless and WeFi’s blog.

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Charbax on August 2, 2008  · 

This is great, I hope you quickly do this with every city in the world.

How about a deal with a municipality in which every citizen is encouraged to install foneras at their home, but where every citizen regardless if they have a Fonera installed get a free access pass with username/password that only works for free within that city.

In return the municipality would promise to Fon that they will do everything they can to blanket cover the whole city with Fon signals. The city will for example ask citizens at regular intervals if they would like to install a free Fonera on their broadband or just a Mesh-enabled Fonera to forward the signal from another Fonera in proximity. As well as the municipality could install hundreds of solar-powered Mesh Foneras as well as solar powered WiMax-WiFi Mesh Fonera converters.

This would I believe be another good reason to use Mesh-enabled Foneras, especially with the municipalities that you would work with.

For example let’s imagine you did a deal with Copenhagen Denmark. 1.5 million Copenhageners would get a free FON access username/password which works for free in Copenhagen. The city of Copenhagen would finance a few thousand Foneras which they will coordinate to distribute throughout the city for citizen to install and they can as well earn money as bills when tourists connect. On top of that, the municipality would install hundreds if not thousands of solar powered waterproof but super low cost Mesh Foneras (which Fon should sell). The city could fix them to certain lamp posts and buildings all around the city. In a matter of 3-6 months for just a few tens of thousands of Euros, the city could be completely blanket covered with WiFi, all Copenhageners would be super happy to have free access to that.

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Charbax on August 2, 2008  · 

You could still heavilly provide incentives for Copenhageners to install their own Foneras or eventually Mesh Foneras, by perhaps for example throttling the bandwidth so real Fon accounts get better bandwidth throughout the city while Free FON accounts get something that is more like limited to 512kbit/s or something like that. On top of that people will want to register and install a Fonera at their home the more they see the utility when they know the coverage is really good in their city. And people will want to be Foneros to roam for free outside of their city and to earn money from tourists, business men and from people that perhaps want to unlock faster bandwidth mode for a certain period.

You could also call each city participating a FON City. This way tourist Foneros know which city they can expect is having pretty good and perhaps even blanket FON coverage. And this would be a domino effect with each city’s municipality wanting to join this movement to make their own citizen all part of it.

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