The municipality is installing transmitters for wireless web-access along the “Royal Road,” which stretches from the Barbakan, through ul. Florianska, Rynek Glowny, ul. Grodzka and down to Wawel Castle. Krakow’s wireless web access started after U.S. President George W. Bush visited Krakow in 2004.
The web’s range remained very limited, and mostly accessible around Rynek Glowny’s gardens. For the last three months free wireless internet has been available in not only the Rynek Glowny area, but also around Rynek Wszystkich Swietych and the fragment of ul Grodzka which stretches between them.
So far the five transmitters, their installation and the Internet service have already cost 100,000 zloty, but the Municipality plans to continue installing transmitters along the rest of the Royal Road, the Planty Park and possibly to Wawel Hill by April 1, 2008. “And it’s not an April fool’s hoax,” comments Andrzej Bohosiewicz, the director of Krakow’s Municipal Department for Developing Information Technology.
The investment will require installing 40 new transmitters amounting to 1 mln zloty. The main challenge is placing transmitters on old buildings, especially church towers. They must provide a good signal without jeopardizing any architectural detail.A final problem will remain for now.
Wireless web access can only be found in open spaces as the signal has little chance of reaching through thick medieval walls and into courtyards where many cafes and restaurants are located. “Please note that access to the Internet provided by our city is of a promotional character, facilitating access rather then providing a strong signal better found in commercial businesses.” “If funds allow, in the future we may have someone monitor the transmitters and quality of the web all day.
But for now if [a commercial business] wants a strong, reliable signal, they must organize it on their own,” underscored Bohosiewicz.