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Paris Pines For World's 'Most Connected' City Status

The mayor of Paris has announced an ambitious plan to cover his city with free Wi-Fi Internet access by the end of 2007 and in the process to make Paris the world's most connected capital city.

"We will act fast and firmly," said Mayor Bertrand Delanoe, according to news reports. "It is a decisive tool for international competition and thus important for the city."

The city is offering a series of tax breaks to installers in an effort to spur quick deployment of the citywide network. Some 400 hotspots are planned and each hotspot is expected to serve more than 25 users simultaneously. Hotspots will be opened in the city's 63 public libraries and in Paris' district city halls scattered throughout the city.

In a university setting in the southeast section of Paris, the city plans to encourage usage by installing furniture with integrated laptop rests.