Free surfing hits central Stockholm

Stockholmers will be able to surf for free in central Stockholm as part of a new experiment organized by local officials.

The project, called “Surf free in Kungsträdgården” offers Stockholmers, indeed all visitors to Stockholm’s downtown, free Internet access. All you need is your laptop, Blackberry or PDA.

The free zone covers Kungsträdgården but should also reach Berzelii Park, Norrmalmstorg and could stretch as far as Stureplan and Humlegården.

“It would be rather nice if Kungsträdgården became a central point for students when the [autumn] term begins.” Håkan Ozan, project leader at mCity, told Svenska Dagbladet.

“And if we can entice some business people out of their stuffy offices to our beautiful city it would be great.”

The experiment is the first of its kind in Sweden. Open access wireless networks are already relatively common in the United States.

To connect to the free service a code will be sent to your mobile phone via a text/SMS message. Send the message “STHLM ON” to 0737 494 050. You’ll receive your access code immediately to get you on line.

The connection speed is 1Mbit per second, perfectly adequate for most surfing needs.

The project has been initiated by the City of Stockholm in cooperation with mCity and Stockholm Business Region among others.

While the test period is over by the end of September it’s unsure what might follow. “This is a pilot project which will be evaluated. We will see how popular it is.” Said Anne Årneby at Stockholm Business Region.

“We are enthusiastic about the idea of a permanent plan, perhaps in even more parks.”

Elizabeth Dacey-Fondelius