On October 29th with free access to Internet in more than 1600 WiFi areas (hotspots) Bulgaria marked the 42nd ‘birthday’ of Internet. The initiative “Free the Internet” has been started by a group of Internet enthusiasts, whose goal is to turn Bulgaria into the biggest area with free WiFi Internet access in Europe. They sent out an appeal to organizations, companies and citizens to open their WiFi connections and make them accessible to everyone on October 29th.
The president of the Atlantic Club of Bulgaria Solomon Passy, the CEO of the “Active consumers” association – Bogomil Nikolov, the film director Ilian Djevelekov and Nikolai Nedelchev – CEO of Publicis MARC Group have all supported the initiative, which has been actively present in the online space for the last two weeks.
The initiative is supported by variety of media, bloggers, companies, public figures and a lot of citizens who registered on a special online map their free WiFi access areas (http://osvobodiinternet.com). The idea spread outside the Bulgarian borders and on the free internet areas map on the website of the initiative one can see hotspots with free access in Germany, Kosovo, Macedonia, Poland, Serbia, France, Netherlands and Croatia.
Everyone who wants to support the initiative can leave a free channel for internet access after October 29th so that Bulgaria turns into the place with easiest access to the global network. “In that way we will be able to give the opportunity to everybody willing to be a part of the world, thanks to the shortened time and space distances that the Internet provides”, said the organizers. On the initiative’s website can be found links to different video instructions on how to free the access to Internet.
The initiative has the special support of the PanEuropa Bulgaria and the Atlantic club of Bulgaria. Their chairpersons Gergana and Solomon Passy have turned the free access to the web into their cause by sending an open letter to the European Commission in June 2011 for access to Internet on all the territory of Europe. According to them the access to the web should be viewed as the newest, fifth freedom of the European Union, together with the free movement of people, goods, capital and services.
“Free the internet” is an initiative of a group of enthusiasts from the marketing communications Publicis MARC Group – DigitalTribe, for which work, entertainment and Internet presence are not only necessary but also a way of life. They say – ‘We believe that the access to Internet (in public places but not only) should be free to everybody because in the context of the 21st century the right to use Internet is establishing as an inalterable human right’.