Guess what everyone not living in London, the UK’s capital is about to get EVEN MORE free WiFi.
Brent, Barnet, Harrow and Haringey will benefit from free public WiFi over the next 12 months. Infrastructure company, Arqiva, which operates Freeview’s transmitters, has been awarded exclusive rights to install high-speed WiFi in the high street.
As well as this, Arqiva has already been given exclusive license to install public WiFi hotspots in Camden, Wandsworth, Hounslow, Islington, and Hammersmith and Fulham.
This is in addition to the many Costa cafes with O2 WiFi, Wetherspoons pubs with Cloud WiFi, Virgin Media’s near tube-wide network on the Underground and free WiFi from the Cloud on the London Overgorund.
Arqiva hasn’t mentioned specifically where in the London boroughs it will be setting up WiFi next, but explains that areas with high footfall will get WiFi first.
Brent’s Lead Member for Customers and Citizens, Cllr. James Denselow said: “In these tough economic times it is important to give people the access to services in the most affordable, cost effective way possible. This exciting agreement provides local residents and taxpayers with a value for money deal and a free high tech service enabling access to the web.”
As well as providing shoppers and commuters with free WiFi, the hotspots installed by Arqiva will also be able to double as 3G and 4G small cells, potentially increasing mobile data coverage in the areas.
Improved coverage will ultimately depend on the likes of EE, O2, Three and Vodafone agreeing to make use of the small cells.
The company’s WiFi dominance is not confined to the capital; Arqiva is also set to provide a WiFi service to Medway and Southampton City Councils.
As for the rest of the UK, residents of the UK’s biggest cities will be able to benefit from free WiFi projects being set up under the Super Connected Cities fund. Other places not part of the project, such as Glasgow, have been busy getting on with WiFi projects of their own.
Image: Richard Matthews/Flickr