By Erik Crouch
Hangzhou has begun broadcasting free Wifi to all residents and visitors, setting up more than 2,000 wireless access points throughout the city. Anyone with a laptop can connect for free to the “i-hangzhou” network broadcast in all parks, shopping areas, and public spaces. Hangzhou’s move is part of a growing trend in China: Beijing plans to roll out free wireless access in major tourist spots by the end of the year, and Guangdong is introducing China Mobile wifi service in its taxi cabs.
Rural areas are getting some wifi-loving as well. Altai Technologies has established more than 5,000 wifi antennas in Liaoning Province, reaching 120,000 families. Subscriptions to Altai’s services run between RMB400-600 annually, which is a small price to pay for constant access to Shanghaiist.