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Arqiva to offer free Wi-Fi to five London boroughs

Communications infrastructure firm Arqiva is rolling out a free outdoor Wi-Fi service in five London boroughs, part of continued efforts to get UK citizens online.

The new service, which will be deployed over the next 12 months, will offer wireless connectivity to people in the boroughs' public areas, with the first 30 minutes per day available for free.

The selected boroughs include Camden, Wandsworth, Hounslow, Islington, and Hammersmith and Fulham. Arqiva was given “exclusive rights” to this service in these areas, suggesting there will not be any competing products in the future.

Though 30 minutes is not exactly a lot of time to spend on the Internet these days, the move will help the digitally excluded and access to online council services will have no time restrictions.

“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,” said Councillor Greg Smith, deputy leader of Hammersmith and Fulham Council.

“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.”