Iperbole Wireless

From EPSA - European Public Sector Award


Short description of the project

On June 2006 the Municipality of Bologna set up the «Iperbole Wireless» project, with the main aim to experiment the Wi-Fi technology and offer an innovative and pervasive Internet access – also in motion - to the users. Iperbole Wireless gives - in partnership with the University of Bologna (ALMA MATER), ISP and telcos (ACANTHO,HERA SPA,TELECOM ITALIA) and private infrastructure providers (HITEL,TELECOMITALIA,HERA SPA) - free access to the Internet covering a city centre wide area. This new experimental service guarantees the simultaneous coverage of several hundreds of laptops in the areas where the Access Points are installed. The Iperbole Wireless service is available 7/24. It can be used by all Bologna Citizens, but also by the Bologna University people (students, teachers, and technical staff) and employees of the Bologna Municipality. Since the beginning of the experimentation more than 4.400 users have subscribed the service and is constantly increasing together with the number of hours connections.

Current status and future steps for the project

The wireless coverage of the City centre area will be progressively completed. A dedicated web site for Iperbole Wireless – accessible by the subscribers/users of the service - integrates a selection of the information and services released by the Municipality and University of Bologna and Alma Mater Studiorum ( A workgroup consisting of technicians, graphic designers and editors from the staff of both institutions set up a web publishing plan taking into account the «double profile» of the citizen/student as main target, according to an approach which (in this first phase) gives the priority to information, welcome and orientation to the potential user «in movement»; selected contents from both portals ( according to agreed principles; defined an original layout in line with the respective brands; agreed on accessibility and usability rules, especially in a future development perspective; started to outline possible future services set up together, focused on specific needs of students/citizens and designed for the broadband features.

Lessons learned

It is important to consider each new service provided to citizens not simply as a "service", but as a part of the whole communication strategy of the Municipality. The key of this strategy should be to invest in eCitizenship at all levels: services, information, interactive communication, participative processes in decision making, community awareness policies. The return would be a proactive citizen, i.e. a mature user for e-gov services. Another important step should be the development of new sustainability models for e-governance and e-democracy services.

Award info
Award category: scarce resources
Award type: submission
Award year: 2007
Project type
Sector: Information society, technology, media and audiovisual
Type of activity: e-government
Keywords: free internet, wireless
Short English description: installation of wireless hot spots through the city centre with free access
Further information
Organisation: Bologna Municipality
Other applicants:
Level of government: local level
Size of organisation:
Number of people involved:
Country: Italy
EU membership: EU member
Language code: en
Start date: 2006/06/01
End date:

Iperbole Wireless (44.494379° N, 11.340021° E)
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