Feeds

Dublin's free Wi-Fi falls foul of competition law

Private companies only

Boost IT visibility and business value

Dublin has abandoned its plan to blanket the city with free Wi-Fi as it thinks it might breach EU law on state aid, and they haven't got the €27m it's going to cost anyway.

The opposition Labour Party, who originally proposed the plan, are claiming the council has been nobbled by telcoms companies who don't want to see free access undercutting their business.

If the deployment was intended to have a premium level of service, to help funding, then there could well be a legal issue with the government paying for the network to be built. That could constitute illegal state aid.

But if the service is given away free then lack of money is more likely to be the problem. Dublin City Council's intention to still provide free broadband to some areas, where there is a lack of broadband coverage, would seem to confirm that.

Municipal Wi-Fi hasn't fared well around the world, partly because blanketing an area in Wi-Fi is technically very difficult, but also because it's actually pretty pointless. No one is seriously wandering around expecting to receive calls on a Wi-Fi mobile phone as yet, and if you want to use a laptop then it's generally as easy to find a hot spot as it is to find a chair from which to use it. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Canadian ISP Shaw falls over with 'routing' sickness
How sure are you of cloud computing now?
Don't call it throttling: Ericsson 'priority' tech gives users their own slice of spectrum
Actually it's a nifty trick - at least you'll pay for what you get
Three floats Jolla in Hong Kong: Says Sailfish is '3rd option'
Network throws hat into ring with Linux-powered handsets
Fifteen zero days found in hacker router comp romp
Four routers rooted in SOHOpelessly Broken challenge
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
US TV stations bowl sueball directly at FCC's spectrum mega-sale
Broadcasters upset about coverage and cost as they shift up and down the dials
O2 vs Vodafone: Mobe firms grab for GCHQ, gov.uk security badge
No, the spooks love US best, say rival firms
Ancient pager tech SMS: It works, it's fab, but wow, get a load of that incoming SPAM
Networks' main issue: they don't know how it works, says expert
Trans-Pacific: Google spaffs cash on FAST undersea packet-flinging
One of 6 backers for new 60 Tbps cable to hook US to Japan
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.