Page last updated at 14:57 GMT, Saturday, 4 July 2009 15:57 UK

Venice rolls out city-wide wi-fi

By Duncan Kennedy
BBC News, Rome

Punta della Dogana in Venice, Italy
The watery wonderland is merging computers and culture

The Italian city of Venice has launched what is believed to be the most extensive, wireless internet system anywhere in Europe.

Ten thousand kilometres of cables have been laid, establishing wi-fi hotspots just about everywhere in the city.

The authorities spent around $15m (£9m) building the system.

It is fast - between 20 and 100 megabits per second - and for those who live there it is free. Tourists will need to pay about $7 a day.

Known for its ancient museums, art galleries and canals, Venice's mayor says the system will enable the development of e-commerce and cable television.

Places like San Francisco, Singapore and Stockholm are already among the best connected cities.

Now Venice is showing off its new internet capabilities, merging computers and culture in this unique setting.

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