Talk:Key:internet access

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Discuss Key:internet_access here:

internet access pricing

I really feel there should be some attention paid to internet access pricing. Some places charge silly prices through mobile phone providers which are really not worth while other places charge very little or are free, guess which ones I would choose to visit. I suppose tags can become quite diverse but terms like Operator=T-Mobile/Independent Cost=Free/Nominal/Expensive these are tags that matter there maybe several providers in relatively close proximity. It's a deciding factor especially for people who like to map and upload their data. Soon after collecting it. I suppose a note would help if nothing else. User:Blackest knight 23:28, 5 April 2009

I think we should use Key:fee as used for car parks etc. Only trouble is it needs to be clear the fee is for use of the internet access not a fee for the cafe. So maybe a free wifi hotspot would have internet_access:fee=no (?) -- Harry Wood 11:47, 18 June 2012 (BST)

internet access shop

"The tag could be used for ... Shops which offer internet as service" However this page doesn't give an indication of what the primary tag should be for a shop dedicated to internet access. For example a big EasyEverything (wikipedia) shop should be tagged as what? Maybe it's still just amenity=cafe although cafe is not the primary function of the place, just as a cafe is not the primary function of bookshop.

A related question is how to tag these kinds of things:

Fast connect shop.JPG Business centre shop.jpg

These kinds of crappy little shops are very common in North London, but they seem to evade categorisation.

Someone else was suggesting shop=communication . I think I'll create a proposal. Of course we would then add internet_access=terminal as an additional tag.

-- Harry Wood 15:08, 25 May 2009 (UTC)

In Brazil they are often known as lanhouses and offer internet, photocopying, printing, scanning, help with typing job applications and cv's and in rare cases fax. Very seldom located in connection with cafes or other tagged services. --Skippern 08:06, 2 August 2009 (UTC)
In Japan, there are net cafes. They generally have some food, but not much, and the main point is computer access. Regular cafes and net cafes are nothing alike. The current system of mixing up two different amenities is undesirable IMO. What can be done about this? --Douglas P Perkins 06:25, 22 August 2012 (BST)

In Vietnam there are lots of shops with 10-30 PCs with Internet access. Main use is playing computer games online. However, surfing with a browser (to write Emails, visit facebook etc.) is also possible. They usually don't serve any kind of food or drink, you only get the (gaming) internet access. --Cantho (talk) 08:06, 24 January 2014 (UTC)

proper discussion and standarisation

i am also very pro including and expanding this tag, aswell as equipping it with decent set of icons.

first thing important - what type of 'access' is available? lan/ethernet? wlan? if wlan - which band? which encryption? is it free? it should all be included in icons.

i think it is very neglected feature, especially i.e. 'stairs' tag contains even step count !

to provoke upcoming brainstorms i suggests keywords like :

  • standard= (instead of 'wifi' one can just indicate IEEE 802.11 or FSK based packet radio over 145mhz... or whatever else)
  • encryption=
  • key= (some spots
  • name=
  • policy= (this includes things like pricing and possible limitations in access)
  • capacity= (number of possible simultaneous users)
  • bandwidth=
  • QoS_policy= (helps distinguish spots which you can do i.e. broadband file sharing (i.e. uploading your photos) vs. i.e. emergency/communication spots (where you can just i.e. irc/IM/e-mail) or web browsing oriented )

i imagine icons as composed out 'subfragments', indicative for :

  • standard - i think this should be discussed outside , querying various standarisation groups, i.e. 802.11 has many compatible , which just differ with freq. so i.e. small 2.4 or 5.8 logo coloured either red for encrypted/limited and green for free/open , and then below 'policy' indicator (no idea for this one...)

no ideas for stuff like packet radio gateways , bluetooth networks etc, as they are seldom used nowadays...

Curious 03:57, 10 August 2009 (UTC)

What about internet_access:encryption=yes or no, internet_access:encryption_type=wpa_psk, internet_access:ssid=myssid???--Xan 20:48, 17 June 2010 (UTC)
+1 for standard= and can be like array or just IEEE 802.11bgn - for b, g and n version. Also +1 for encription= but i'd use it as internet_access:encryption=no or type - if no enc, there is no type. --Mitjajez (talk) 20:20, 19 January 2016 (UTC)

wimax? and access?


Is there any way for tagging wimax and any other mobile net protocols (see wikipedia)? internet_access=wimax? For the other hand, how to tag the access?: public, access by fee and designated (for example campus nets only for staff). internet_access:access=public?, internet_access:access=fee?, internet_access:access=designated? By default, I think it should be public.--Xan 20:42, 17 June 2010 (UTC)

It's maybe confusing to term is as "public" versus "fee", since an wifi hotspot charging a fee, is still in some sense available to the public. I think we should encourage explicit tagging with "fee=no", or rather internet_access:fee=no for free internet. But see discussion above ^^^^ about pricing -- Harry Wood 12:08, 18 June 2012 (BST)


Why not allow areas for internet_access? The wifi area could be very long. Better than a node. In general, we could not know the exact location of the router ;-)--Xan 20:49, 17 June 2010 (UTC)

I believe it is widely accepted that wifi signal data is not appropriate for the OpenStreetMap database. This is partly due to problems of verifiability (It's not something that any mapper could go and see on-the-ground) Partly because the data would be an overpowering messy distraction for many other general mapping data uses (In cities there are many overlapping wifi access zones all over the place. Mapping point readings or areas would create a hideous mess) And finally other open data projects can and do already gather this kind of geolocated "wardriving" data.
The only wifi related information we do want, is a simple tag on a cafe/pub object, to indicate this as an advertised and publicly available facility of that object (in much the same tagging that a pub offers food)
-- Harry Wood 22:15, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
I do not see why areas could not be tagged with internet_access. Example: The Westerpark in Amsterdam has created a free wifi space in the park, and it is definitely not just a point but an area. There are plans for wifi in another park.

In fact, yes, any mapper can go and see there is wifi available. That it becomes 'busy' in the database, or that it would be a 'distraction' (??) or that there are other open data projects gathering this kind of data misses the point of OSM completely. I will add 'area' to the documentation.

-- Jan Westerhof 11:15, 12 July 2012 (UTC)
I disagree, OSM is for mapping the physical relation of things. All tags are tied to physical representations of objects. Mapping an area as covered by a Wireless LAN is tricky because from a technical standpoint as more users are added to any wireless network, its coverage area decreases. As the noise from more people, on the same frequency/channel increases the working area of any given hotspot on that channel also decreases.
Imagine a room (this is a wireless channel) with 100 people talking. If 2 people want to talk, then they would have to stand closer. If the room were empty then they could stand much farther apart. Wireless coverage behaves in this manner.
WLANs, because of the 802.11abgn radio specification used, is a 2 person connection -- the device to the access point. What needs to be mapped are Actual Access Point Locations to a structure, building, pole, etc. Even the various wireless mapping projects which have existed prior to OSM, all aggregate their data though pseudo triangulation of observed points. If all of the observed points are in a straight line, then the map location is plotted as a weighted point along that line.Rjhawkin (talk) 15:50, 1 May 2013 (UTC)
In general, as you add it to POI, if a given POI is mapped as a way (such as a shop within a building), you may already be using internet_access=* for a way, but definitely not its own separate way that would implicate an approximate range. Bkil (talk) 10:51, 22 June 2023 (UTC)

open spaces

I have added "open spaces like squares or streets with public WLAN hotspots" to the list of places that could or should be mapped, as there more and more squares and streets with open (public), free WLAN access. --ALE! 15:15, 6 June 2011 (BST)

I have a problem with mapping areas as per my comment above. This discussion was held during the previous proposal and no clear consensus was reached. My opinion is that virtual objects should not be mapped because their data area is not fixed. Administrative borders are separate and noted as such. I can give an existing example of broadcast transmission towers for AM, FM, TV. We do not make a note that a particular station is receivable at a particular location. Wireless signals all propagate via the same medium and should be mapped in the same manner. In this case the transmitter location, not the covered area. If you goto those places and look up, you will see a device with antennas attached to a pole. That is what should be mapped, not the area.Rjhawkin (talk) 16:04, 1 May 2013 (UTC)

allow tagging of areas and ways

This tag should be allowed also for areas and ways. For the following reasons:

  • As said before there are more and more open spaces like squares and streets that offer free open (public) WLAN access.
  • cafes, bars, libraries, hotels are often drawn as areas (building outlines)

--ALE! 15:17, 6 June 2011 (BST)

I do not like that you arbitrarily added this because you wanted it with out discussing the matter or looking at previous discussions. If you care about this extensively, I would like a facts or precedent based response to my comment above, otherwise since the decision you made was unilateral, I will modify the edit as it was not discussed prior/during the creation of the proposal. I figure at the rate that things move here, 3 months should suffice.
I agree that tagging should be allowed for structures. Parks are harder unless the whole area is covered. Usually it is around the central buildings only, and those are what should be mapped. I do not like streets because the area covered is too dynamic. Even FON ties AP locations to structures.Rjhawkin (talk) 16:22, 1 May 2013 (UTC)
I've removed the "onWay" feature from the KeyDescription box. This would mean that this tag can be used on linear ways (closed ways are covered by "onArea") such as highways, railways, paths, etc - but internet access isn't provided by linear features. I suspect that this option hasn't been used. --Jeisenbe (talk) 05:03, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
I don't agree with most of your recent major edits. May I ask who you have discussed this with, Jeisenbe?

Try this Overpass turbo query:

out geom;
I'm seeing some ferry routes, inner city pedestrian streets, living streets, shores and aeriealways - all perfectly reasonable. It is very easy to imagine that a street is being covered by access points placed on top of poles along the street. I've visited many western towns where certain key, "walking" or "pedestrian" streets are covered like this on purpose (although none of them are mapped in OSM). --Bkil (talk) 17:18, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
It looks like you are right. Thank you for the link. I hadn't seen a way to search specifically for unclosed ways in overpass API before, so that will be very helpful. The change has been reverted.
Were there any other changes with which you disagreed? Please discuss if so.--Jeisenbe (talk) 00:45, 17 June 2019 (UTC)

This is a new feature in Overpass. The previous recommendation was to download the resulting dataset and filter it using JOSM - a much less comfortable alternative. Well, I wouldn't say that the current state is seriously "wrong", but I liked the previous content better at many places (though, I acknowledge that there was room for improvement). Although, having written many of them makes me biased. Let me find some time to review these changes again in more detail and get back to you in a few days. Bkil (talk) 20:54, 17 June 2019 (UTC)


Is there a way one can actually use this information (and the similar power_supply tag, btw) atm? Any navigation/mapping application/service that renders the tag and allow it to be searched for in a given area? L29Ah (talk) 12:56, 1 September 2015 (UTC)

There was once a time when Carto or some other common layer rendered pubs differently if they had wifi, but I think that had since been reverted. Bkil (talk) 11:31, 22 June 2023 (UTC)

Deprecate wifi=*?

The proposal states nothing but usage is wifi=* 10.000 vs. internet_access=* 50.000. I would add it to Deprecated_features, but no mechanical edit.--Jojo4u (talk) 11:00, 26 September 2015 (UTC)

Agree. And as noted elsewhere, wifi is a trademark. Johnparis (talk) 15:14, 23 February 2016 (UTC)

I agree. Bkil (talk) 17:23, 16 June 2019 (UTC)

open networks

Like Freifunk, there is also, Funkfeuer (Austria), ?what's the name?(Greece)... and wlan slovenija(open wireless network of Slovenia) Node usage can be find on node list (on nodewatcher) where is also map (using openstreetmap, tnx!)

Soo i'd add this nodes on map using:

 internet_access:name=* (or should i use name=* )
 internet_access=wlan (or should i use internet_access:ssid=*)
 internet_access:operator=wlan slovenija (or space is depricated here?)

example: OSM node is this correct? --Mitjajez (talk) 16:13, 19 January 2016 (UTC)

In case of access provider Freifunk there are two common notations. Freifunk splits into regional organisations resulting in typically different internet_access:operator=* names like:

or should it be consistent written as


--JayJay88 (talk) 23:50, 11 June 2016 (UTC)

Places that offer Wi-Fi but also terminals and/or ethernet? Places that also have power sockets?

How should I specify places such as the library I'm currently using which provides internet access both via Wi-Fi and via terminals?

Also can we specify the restrictions at all? For instance the Wi-Fi you can use in two hour blocks and simply have to the terms on the sign-in page to get two more hours each time it runs out. On the terminals I think you only get a 15 minute block.

When using public Wi-Fi it's also important to know if electricity is available or if you can only use it on battery power. Same goes for phone charging. Do we have any way to specify these? — Hippietrail (talk) 04:03, 10 August 2017 (UTC)

You can list multiple methods using a semicolon. If, however the room where the terminals reside could be classified as a subunit of the amenity (e.g., music library), I'd probably tag the subunit separately.
Power supplies can also be tagged: There exists an enhanced proposal for this as well: Bkil (talk) 07:32, 10 August 2017 (UTC)

Finding reliable free internet access

I would like to come up with tagging amendments to help locate free (wlan) internet access for which the availability is known. For example if I'm in a new place, especially after hours or if I don't speak the local language, I'd like a way to locate free internet access without requiring to ask an employee. For example many chain stores will have internet access which does not require a password and is usually available at all times of the day from outside the shop thus I can be certain of getting internet even if the place is closed. However many smaller shops, hotels, etc may have "free" wifi but requires asking staff for a password to connect possibly with the intent of keeping it for paying customers or guests. Therefore it would be nice to differentiate these. One option mentioned in Talk:Proposed_features/Internet_access#internet_access_.2F_internet_connection would work but that proposal was never used. Another problem I have found are places which disable the internet after opening hours which would also need to be tagged as such and filtered out. DFyson (talk) 00:24, 24 August 2017 (UTC)

I've updated the main page based on TagInfo. You simply need to filter out internet_access:fee=customers or select only internet_access:fee=no. I don't think that we can or need to do better than this. It is not ethical to hog the unprotected wifi of a shop just because it is open all day, if it is otherwise meant to be used by customers. If it is meant for customers, it is expected that it can be shut down after opening_hours. If, however it is not meant for customers, it must not be password protected, and you will have instant access anyway. In this case, it is difficult to determine (and verify) if it will be enabled all day long, but I think it usually is in 90% of the cases. In all other cases, if you need Internet access and you are sure that all amenities are closed or are too distant which you can purchase access from, then you simply walk around the block to find what you need (note that this may not be legal in some countries). What you seem to be in need of is some kind of wardriving site, but this is not what OpenStreetMap is about. You can find lots of other sites and applications for that purpose. Bkil (talk) 12:18, 26 August 2017 (UTC)


I propose internet_access:upload_speed and internet_access:download_speed for the results of speed tests. Mbps seems like a natural unit.

If you're looking for a place to make a VoIP or video call, or you need to download/upload something big, it's not enough to just see 'internet_access:wlan' - you want to know if it'll be fast enough. - Ejegg (Ejegg) 15:18, 27 November 2017‎

Speed is not proper terminology when talking about internet access quality. For VoIP, you need all of: proper bandwidth, jitter and ping time to the national hub. It gets worse: your VoIP experience will highly depend on the kind of equipment and firmware that is used up towards the data center. Without bufferbloat protection on every node (AP, router, modem, etc.), every application will suffer if any one of the users do uploads or P2P at the same time, but VoIP and video calls are the most affected, so this doesn't help a traveler at all. It might help one who wants to do large downloads, but hogging the connection of others is considered rude. From another perspective, the bandwidth cap that the provider enforces can kind of be stable to measure, while the others are very difficult to measure reliably. Note that if you measure the bandwidth cap at a busy time, others could be using the connection at the same time, skewing results. How do you ensure that this does not happen when you are making your measurements? How can I verify your claimed bandwidths? What if I happen to visit them at a busy time and I can only measure 1/4 the throttled cap? Anyhow, if you insist in noting these values, I would definitely drop "speed", and use "bandwidth" instead. For example, internet_access:upstream_bandwidth, internet_access:downstream_bandwidth Bkil (talk) 15:48, 27 November 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for the clarification Bkil! internet_access:upstream_bandwidth and internet_access:downstream_bandwidth sound great. Hopefully this information will encourage people who need a lot of bandwidth to go to cafes that can handle it rather than overwhelming more modest connections. Ejegg (talk) 16:28, 27 November 2017 (UTC)
You're welcome. Also, I've been thinking about this question a bit more. In Hungary, there exist budget Internet service providers as well that offer "bursted" services. (You can bet that small pubs who do not specialize in Internet service would definite opt for the cheapest option available when given a choice) This means that if you browse through web pages (or run a quick speed test), you will feel like it's 20Mb/s, but at the same time, sustained downloads are limited to 10Mb/s (sometimes the factor is 3-4x). There also exist providers who specify a combined upstream & downstream limit as well. This means that for a 20Mb/s package you could either download at about 20Mb/s, or upload at about 10Mb/s, but not both at the same time (instead transfer at 19 down & 1 up or 10&10, etc). Each service in general must also declare a targeted maximum and a guaranteed minimum bitrate in their terms of conditions. The former is the amount that you can never exceed, while the latter is an acceptable throughput that you may achieve during peak hours, network congestion or when lines are bad. Anyhow, it would be a good idea to specify a survey_date that is precise to the minute because of these reasons. What is your suggestion in tagging these restrictions? Bkil (talk) 19:10, 27 November 2017 (UTC)
Yeah, survey_date is definitely a good idea. As far as the measurements go, I guess I'm hoping for a general indication of better / worse places to go if you need to work online, rather than a guarantee of certain speeds. 'fast' / 'medium' / 'slow' seems a bit too subjective, but ranges would give good information without being misleadingly precise. <1 Mbps, 1-5, 5-10, 10-20, etc Ejegg (talk) 19:46, 27 November 2017 (UTC)
Just to elaborate and update upon this, I don't support tagging bandwidth as per my above shared rationale. According to TagInfo, this still occurs 0 times in the wild. Bkil (talk) 13:05, 22 June 2023 (UTC)

More than one type of internet access

In relation to a recent note of mine, I was wondering if there is a way (or could be a way) to note that multiple "internet access" opportunities are available? Several libraries have both wifi as well as provide terminals—and some even have ethernet ports to plug into. Currently you either have to set internet_access=yes or choose only one specific type of internet access to "promote". —Freso (talk) 06:50, 13 September 2018 (UTC)

I would use something like internet_access=yes with internet_access:wired=yes and internet_access:wired=wlan Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 18:06, 15 September 2018 (UTC)

I would keep things simple, like internet_access=wlan;terminal. This does occur in Taginfo. Bkil (talk) 15:02, 24 March 2019 (UTC)

IP v6 support and IP range

The IT departement of my company regularly have tickets because the corp VPN do not work in some hotels, as the hotel is using the same 10.x range as we do. The same could happen for IP v6. I think having the information could help them diagnose the issue faster. Would it be useful to map those (eg, range used for the wlan, routable IP v6 support) using a tag like internet_access:ip4_range= and internet_access:routable_ip6=yes ? --Misc (talk) 07:50, 19 June 2023 (UTC)

What matters from an OSM standpoint is whether one would remotely want to choose between hotels based on their IP-range and whether this is the only comfortable way to come up with the ground truth. The answer is probably not, hence mapping this would not serve a public good. The moment you log onto the wifi, the one who needs this information on-premise will have an answer. As technical countermeasures to your specific problem at hand, you could preinstall via autorun a troubleshooting tool that pops up a dialog in such a case. You could also consider randomizing your subnet to reduce collision or provide two alternative ones and mirroring the IPs of critical entry points you need based on which one your employee connected to. Bkil (talk) 10:41, 22 June 2023 (UTC)
I would decide based on that, yes. In fact, the broken IP v6 I had in a hotel last week is how I came to the idea. I kinda keep my own list of hotel to avoid for various reasons, but it would be nice to share with others. As for my company IT, I know they used to have a list of hotels causing troubles around our offices, and again, I guess they are not the only one with this problem. I also feel that's in the same category as the bandwidth discussed on the talk page, in that's both technical information that some people might need, and a information that can change. --Misc (talk) 12:50, 22 June 2023 (UTC)
I don't support tagging bandwidth. People choosing hotels based on IP range does not sound plausible to me, but feel free to share links to review sites where others voice concerns about this. Neither do I map quite a few other properties at present that I would consider much more important: protocol/DPI rules (blocking anything but web traffic, or just torrent, VoIP, VPN, SSH, etc.), content rules (blocking NSFW, foreign countries or video portals either through DNS or by IP), HTTP/NXDOMAIN MITM, captive portal (terms of service), IPv6-only & IPv4-only (only part of the web may be accessible from here), >3GHz-only (not accessible through old clients), UPnP/PCP, whether WAN uplink is metered or not. Bkil (talk) 13:18, 22 June 2023 (UTC)


There is a wifi transmitter sitting in the middle of nowhere. How to tag? Jidanni (talk) 20:44, 11 August 2023 (UTC)

@Jidanni: you mean there it doesn't belong to a building? Is it public or private. Who is the owner? For wifi hotspot's, pls. check this article --Hermann-san (talk) 13:18, 18 August 2023 (UTC)
They are attached to poles along a beach boardwalk. They are owned by the Park District. Jidanni (talk) 18:48, 20 August 2023 (UTC)
It sounds like a public wifi hotspot that can be used by everybody. Then the connection type is internet_access=wlan and if it's known to you, you may specify payment, operator and identifier too. --Hermann-san (talk) 07:37, 21 August 2023 (UTC)
If a small feature in OSM is already present such as the boardwalk or perhaps a small section of the beach around it that has good coverage, I'd probably add the required tags to that existing object instead of mapping each individual AP. Bkil (talk) 10:28, 21 August 2023 (UTC)