Japan Wants to Give Tourists Free Wi-Fi in Tons of Public Places by 2016By: Josh Wolford - May 23, 2014
There are a bunch of wonderful things about being a tourist in Japan–the food, the culture, the nightlife, and the history, to name a few. But one thing tourists have complained about for years is the difficulty of accessing Wi-Fi in the country. When navigating a foreign country (especially for the first time), access to reliable internet is crucial. Now, according to a report from Nikkei, the Japanese government is preparing to launch a new tourist Wi-Fi initiative that could make gaining access to Wi-Fi as easy as flashing your ID.
According to Nikkei’s Asian Review, the Japanese government plans to work alongside various telecom providers to build a nationwide common ID system for public Wi-Fi.
Tourists would be able to either download a smartphone app, or simply show an official their passports and be granted Wi-Fi access. This common ID would be usable in transportation hubs, popular tourist destinations, and pretty much anywhere Wi-Fi is offered, assuming those places comply. Nikkei says the government will “call on facilities nationwide offering free Wi-Fi to adopt the common ID system.”
As the Verge notes, NTT East already offers this sort of commons ID Wi-Fi system in limited parts of Japan, but this new system would be a nationwide blanket.
The Japanese government has set a time frame of 2016 for the system to be implemented.
Image via Wikimedia Commons