Ancient meets high-tech: free Wi-Fi to cover the Old City of Jerusalem

Night time view of the Old City in Jerusalem (Photo: Sebi Berens/Flash90)

In a juxtaposition of history and progress, visiting the ancient alleys and walls of Jerusalem’s Old City will soon be enhanced by modern technology with the introduction of free Internet service across the sprawling city.

Currently in its pilot stage with Wi-Fi available near Jaffa Gate and parts of the Christian Quarter, the full service will soon be available to visitors, local residents and businesses all around the four quarters.

Tourists and visitors will be able to navigate the elusive secrets of the ancient Jewish capital at their own pace with a range of apps they can use.

Free Wi-Fi access is developing as a trend in heritage sites around the world in order to enhance the visitor experience in place such as India, Hong Kong, London, Dubai and Japan.

The Jerusalem project is notable for its scale, embracing all four quarters of the Old City. The half million dollar project is the combined initiative of the Jerusalem Development Authority, the Jerusalem Municipality and the Heritage Ministry and is developing in tandem with physical improvements to the area.

Coastal Tel Aviv, known worldwide as the center of Israel’s high-tech revolution, also has a city-wide free Wi-Fi strategy. However, free Wi-Fi in Jerusalem’s historic Old City highlights the most fascinating and stark contrasts as this ancient center of the world encounters modern-day technology.

This is what the Lord says: You say about this place, It is a desolate waste, without people or animals. Yet in the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem that are deserted, inhabited by neither people nor animals, there will be heard once more the sounds of joy and gladness, the voices of bride and bridegroom, and the voices of those who bring thank offerings to the house of the Lord, saying: Give thanks to the Lord Almighty, for the Lord is good; his love endures forever. For I will restore the fortunes of the land as they were before, says the Lord.
Jeremiah 33:10-11