Milan launches Wi-fi Lombardia

With free access to city, region, Expo, airports and Fiera.

Right in time for Expo 2015, Milan city hall has announced a new app for Android and iOS phones and tablets to combine all the free services available in and around the city.

Called “Wi-fi Lombardia”, the free app requires only one registration for the user to connect to all the services most used by milanesi and visitors, from Milan city hall to Expo 2015, from airport management SEA to the Fiera di Milano.

Wi-fi Lombardia already also covers nine other municipalities around the regional capital. The plan is to extend it to cover all municipalities in Lombardy. Users can access the network from any of the federated municipalities.

The move was inspired by analysis of Wi-fi connections, which showed that the daily connections peaked during last September’s Women’s Fashion Week, spurring city hall to complete the extension in time for Expo. “We’ve improved and boosted the system for the inauguration of Expo 2015,” said city councillor Cristina Tajani, announcing the launch. The concept, she added, is “to simplify surfing for tourists, visitors and residents alike.”

A hot spot in Milan

With its 383 well signposted hot spots and almost 700 access points, Milan is the most on-line city in Italy, and can hold its own among European cities, alongside Paris with 312 hot spots, or Berlin with 77. Milan also boasts 29 “digital islands”, which offer not only internet access but also recharging points for phones and tablets.

In three years, the number of page views on the city’s free Wi-fi system has tripled, from 2,252 to 7,236 average accesses per day, to reach 4.6 million, proving that the service was a worthwhile investment. Traffic analysis showed that it is also the service most used by visitors to the city: over 120,000 foreigners have logged on to register on the system – about 30 per cent of the 418,000 users. Among these, some 9 per cent are from the US, French and Swiss just slightly fewer (8.8), and Spanish at 8.3 per cent. Runners-up among foreign users are Russians (8.2) and Brits (6.9).