Paris – one giant Wi-fi hotspot?

According to the International Herald Tribune, a dozen Wi-Fi antennas have been set up outside a few of the city’s metro stations providing wireless access to the Internet to anyone with a laptop or Wi-Fi enabled PDA who happens to be close enough to receive the signals. The service is free until June 30.

Cap Gemini Ernst & Young, Cisco Systems and RATP (operator of the Paris Metro) are conducting an initial test to see whether it works and if all goes well, the plan is to install two or more antennas outside every metro station. This means Wi-Fi access to the Internet near every metro stop and anyone who has been to Paris understands that you can send your silly Eiffel Tower digital photos right from the metro stops Bir-Hakeim, Trocadéro or Ecole Militaire.

For more information about the project (Plate-Forme WiFi Naxos), visit the RATP-Telcite-NAXOS site.

For a lively discussion of the merits and flaws of the Paris plan, visit Slashdot. Just ignore the bad jokes about the French.