BBC News Online is saying that "Preston has become the first English city to offer comprehensive wire-free internet coverage in the city centre." This is due to the announcement by TeleGeneration and a joint project between the local council and University of Central Lancashire (Uclan)that 100 extra wireless access points are to be located across the city.
Subscription to the service is free for students at Uclan, but other residents can subscribe on various tariffs which start at £5 per day, rising to £60 for 1 years access. A 30 day free trial is also available.
A list of the locations for hot-spots can be found here. Service is also available in parts of Manchester.
It is difficult to see how fixed line providers using BT Wholesale ADSL services, LLU, or even cable broadband providers can compete price wise with a £60 service in the consumer arena. If projects like this do become more common, then the regulator Ofcom may need to change its regulatory approach, since the growth rate for wireless broadband appears to be outstripping LLU in the consumer market place.
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