The Secretariat for Digital Planning of the Greek Ministry of Economy and Finance, based on the success of the initiative to install free wireless broadband access points at Syntagma Square, Thissio (nearby Temple of Hephaestus), Kotzia Square and the National Research Foundation in Athens, and the very strong response of the public, will finance the creation of 279 new free wireless access points (WiFi hotspots) in municipalities, prefectures, regions, TEDK (Local Unions of Municipalities & Communities) and other locations across Greece. This is good news for the millions of tourists to Greece as well.
The first free wireless access points that operated at central points in Athens (Syntagma from 1 June 2006, and Thissio, Kotzia Square from 1 September 2007) have so far attracted more than 40,000 users who have made a total of 167,630 connections to the internet. Each access point is connected to the backbone of OTEnet (the biggest telecom operator in Greece) via a 4Mbps line. You can monitor traffic for these access points at the site of AthensWifi.
Funding for the wireless networks is part of the Digital Strategy, through the “Information Society” Program, using national resources and funds of the European Regional Development Fund. The relative ease of implementation of these projects allows for the timely completion in 2009. The implementation of wireless networks is carried out by local contractors, based on the submitted proposals. The local authorities, etc. TEDK are responsible for integration of WiFi hotspots by Autumn 2009, and then for performing maintenance. Lets hope they do a better job on that than on the maintenance of the traffic lights.
Local authorities and agencies involved in the development of free wireless access points are (brace yourself, it’s a long list, but you might want to check your next holiday destination in Greece):
[The list is being worked on, it’s a chore to translate all the names in English]