Earlier this year we learnt that London was likely to see free public WiFi appearing in various areas of the city, and with the announcement that Arqiva has been awarded exclusive rights to create an outdoor wireless network in the Camden, Wandsworth, Hounslow, Islington and Hammersmith & Fulham parts of London we are a major step closer to the changes happening.
The free WiFi service will give people 30 minutes of free public Internet per day and totally free access to the various online services of the councils all day everyday.
"This is a fantastic deal for taxpayers and the council. We know that many of our residents still do not have online access, so this deal will open up a new digital world to them. This will make it easier than ever for our residents to get online. It will also make it easier for people to access council services online wherever they are and they will help us keep reducing council tax bills."Cllr Greg Smith, Hammersmith & Fulham Council deputy leader
While many will scoff at the advantages when they have broadband at home and 3G or 4G on their mobile, limited free access could be very useful on those times your home broadband breaks, or the local mobile mast decides to not work for data due to a fault or congestion. We hope that as with some other WiFi services that encryption of one sort or another will also be available to safeguard users from the chance that someone may be sniffing the traffic.
Update 14th June 2013 We have checked with Arqiva and in addition to the applying the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) to block imagery of child abuse, they also apply content filtering in accordance with the clients' requirements. Where no requirements are specified by the client, we implement 'family-friendly' content filtering as a default.