Free wifi takes off in Dutch towns

Heerlen, Rotterdam, Arnhem and Leiden are among the towns where residents and visitors can now benefit from free wifi, paid for by the local council, BNR radio reports on Friday.

Many other towns and cities have plans to introduce the free service, the broadcaster says. Enschede town centre will have wifi available from December and there is also political pressure to introduce it in Breda.
‘As the city council, it is our responsibility to make the city as attractive as possible,’ Enschede executive Hans van Agteren told BNR. ‘Enschede is a knowledge city and the university has had free wifi since 2003. Demand was strong from entrepreneurs and users, so we are making a start.’
The move has been prompted by the rise in popularity of smartphones and tablets and the rising cost of mobile internet services. Wifi is now an integral part of city marketing efforts in many places.
The broadcaster does not say what telecom firms think of the competition.
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