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Google's Unlikely Competitor

Hot on the heels of Google in bid to make a free wireless city is the unlikely county council of Norwich. Norwich City located in the East of England has been running a free wireless test for the past three weeks now, which covers three sectors of the city and its centre.

The £1.1 million 18 month pilot project has been live now for just three weeks and is already proving popular as people continue to learn about their new wireless hot spots. More than 200 antennas are positioned around the town centre on top of lamp posts offering a free service of 256Kbps and a special 1Mbps for public sector workers.

Speaking to BBC News Mr Adams, director of corporate resources and cultural services said, "We had 1,800 connections in the first week, more than 2,500 in the second and 3,000 in the third. It's been glitch free so far - we have had very few technical problems."

Speaking about the network Mr Adams said, "The network has two speeds - 256Kbps for the public and 1Mbps for public sector workers - which are slower than typical broadband speeds found in the home. The one thing we don't want to do is compete with commercial companies. We have a speed of 256Kbps in order to not compete with wireless hotspots. But they are still relatively small in a place like Norwich."

Users are restricted to one hour sessions, which can be reconnected to after the hour is up if they wish, and has been made to be suitable with many devices. Mr Adams listed off Laptops, PDAs, PlayStation portables, mobile phones and games consoles as possible devices that would connect to the network.

View: Norfolk Open Link

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