Cologne & the Internet
As one of Germany's leading media cities, home to the most radio and television stations, Cologne is also outstandingly well represented on the Internet. In order to get a comprehensive overview we have summarised the most interesting web portals, catalogs, and market spaces.
A test comparison of websites revealed that Cologne businesses occupy the top positions: Since the internet launch of Colognes savings bank Sparkasse KölnBonn, the internet site has been ranked number one several times in succession (in competition) against 1,000 banks in Germany, Austria and Switzerland by the Institute for Banking Computer Science and Bank Strategy at the University of Regensburg.
A web journal did a test comparison of the ease and informative value offered to travellers by the internet sites of the ten largest German airports. In this respect the website of Cologne/Bonn airport occupies the top positions.
Cologne's city portal successful
The city has secured for itself the simplest (world-wide) web address www.koeln.de and licensed it to NetCologne, the regional telephone and internet carrier.
Individual sections of the city many of which being able to be classed as large towns or cities in their own right, according to the German classification have launched their own internet sites, which are particularly aimed at surfers with close links to their own district.
The project »Virtual Cologne« even enables a visit to the city via internet as a 3D presentation.
From November 2013, Cologne gets its own regional domain name identity. Cologne´s citizens, organizations, and businesses can use .koeln instead of the usual endings like de., com., net., org. as an address identifier. Cologne is the first European city which was awarded a domain extension by the nonprofit organization ICANN. The Cologne telecommunications provider NetCologne has organized the application expecting a competitive advantage for the city.
Public Wireless LAN
Starting in 2013, some popular public places are beeing equipped with WLAN access for visitors by NetCologne, the Cologne telephone and internet provider. The Roncalliplatz south of the Cathedral - the number one tourists´ spot - is the first on the list beeing followed by the Heumarkt, the Altermarkt, the Heinrich-Böll-Platz and the Ottoplatz in Deutz. Even in public offices and museums, visitors can surf for free soon.
Web catalogues for systematical searching
The Cologne search engines are nearer, and not only in the geographic sense. Apart from the online-launches of the city and the Cologne newspapers, a number of independent providers have opened (and sometimes also closed) their own websites in the last few years, claiming to portray the most important aspects of the city. They consciously create various different focal points in terms of subject matter. An example is a comprehensive overview of the services provided in Cologne which are accessible on the internet.
Finding companies and friends
Looking for companies, products, or bargains? The online market places may help. Competing the traditional Yellow Pages of Deutsche Telekom, Yellow Map and Google Maps provide geographically oriented search engines and present their results directly in a map.
People in Cologne make friends easily not only at the carnival season or in the local pubs. A number of online communities and chat rooms provide all the opportunities for an interesting conversation or a thrilling date.