Paris aims for city-wide wireless Internet by '07

Paris wants blanket wireless Internet cover by the end of 2007, helping to make it the most connected capital city in the world, city Mayor Bertrand Delanoe, quoted in a Reuters report, said.

The report said that under a new plan, the city hoped to set up 400 free Wi-Fi access points next year and allow ISPs to install antennas on strategically-located public property.

"We will act fast and firmly"&brkbar; to create the most favorable conditions for Paris," Delanoe said. "It is a decisive tool for international competition and thus important for the city."

The report also said that the plan called for slashing taxes on companies that laid down fiber-optic cables in a drive to have 80% of all buildings within the city connected to so-called "ultra-high speed" fiber optic networks by 2010.

License fees for fiber-optic cables already snaking through the city's sewer system would be cut by 25% and the tax break would go up to 90% for the first 400 meters of new cables that branched out to connect buildings currently lacking the high-speed lines, the report said.

The free wireless access points, to be located in parks, squares, libraries, and public areas, would be set up by private firms that would win contracts to be awarded in early 2007, the report said.