Camden council rolls out free public Wi-Fi


Those visiting, living or trading in the London Borough of Camden will soon be able to enjoy free Wi-Fi when out and about, boosting connectivity and helping businesses to attract more customers.

The roll-out will start in South Camden at the beginning of June, before expanding into Belsize Park, Camden Town, Finchley, Hampstead, Kentish Town and Kilburn as part of a year-long deployment project.

Our aim is to make Camden one of the most connected places in the country.

Camden council has partnered with Arqiva to deliver the free-of-charge outdoor services, which is restricted to 30 minutes usage each day on devices that have been registered. However, users will have unlimited, free and 24/7 access to the council's online services as part of the deal.

The 10-year contract is all part of Camden's wider anti-digital exclusion and pro-innovation vision to make it somewhere "where everyone has a chance to succeed and where nobody gets left behind," according to a council-issued statement.

"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," said Camden's Cabinet member for Finance, Councillor Theo Blackwell.

"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."

While the free access is limited to 30 minutes, users will be able to purchase additional surfing time from a provider of their choice, thanks to special deals secured by Camden and a consortium of 17 other councils.

"We are delighted to be working with Camden Borough Council. Our partnership means that Camden's 212,000 residents, businesses and visitors will benefit from the fast, reliable and always-on' connectivity which we all have come to expect, wherever we are," said Nicolas Ott, managing director of Arqiva's government, mobile and enterprise arm.

"This project will involve the breadth of Arqiva's connectivity solutions and will see the deployment of various wireless technologies, including Wi-Fi and 3G/4G/small cells. The first in a line of large-scale, outdoor urban networks, this contract reinforces Arqiva's position as a key mobile connectivity partner."

Maggie Holland

Maggie has been a journalist since 1999, starting her career as an editorial assistant on then-weekly magazine Computing, before working her way up to senior reporter level. In 2006, just weeks before ITPro was launched, Maggie joined Dennis Publishing as a reporter. Having worked her way up to editor of ITPro, she was appointed group editor of CloudPro and ITPro in April 2012. She became the editorial director and took responsibility for ChannelPro, in 2016.

Her areas of particular interest, aside from cloud, include management and C-level issues, the business value of technology, green and environmental issues and careers to name but a few.