Camden, arguably the most trendy and vibrant of all the London Boroughs, has become the first to offer free Wi-Fi throughout its streets and open spaces. The service will be available free for the first 30 minutes of use.
Communications infrastructure firm Arqiva will be building the necessary infrastructure over the course of the 10-year deal, as part of an initiative across 17 of the 33 London Boroughs, outlined back in February 2013. The scheme operates using small cells (Wi-Fi, 3G and 4G) on lamp posts and bus shelters. The company hope to draw a profit through the scheme's introduction by offering up advertising after the free 30 minute period expires.
Councillor Theo Blackwell, Camden's cabinet member for Finance, said in an interview:
Our aim is to make Camden one of the most connected places in the country. This is great news for residents who will be able to access Wi-Fi services in public and open spaces. It will also be a huge benefit to businesses who will be able to trial new advertising techniques to better target their customers.
Our large number of visitors and tourists will benefit from being able to access online information about events nearby and find information to visit local shops, bars and restaurants.
The service begins its rollout from June 1, offering a "fast, reliable and always-on" service to Camden's 212,000 residents, businesses and visitors. Southern areas of Camden will be the first to receive the service, followed by Camden Town, Kentish Town, Kilburn, Finchley, Hampstead and Belsize Park. Other London Boroughs are expected to follow with their own rollouts of Wi-Fi services soon after.
Source: ISPreview | Image via ScenicReflections