Arqiva signs deal with Barnet, Haringey, Harrow and Wandsworth councils for free public Wi-Fi services
Communications infrastructure firm Arqiva has won contracts to provide public Wi-Fi services in four London Boroughs, Medway – which includes the towns and cities of Chatham, Gillingham and Rochester – and Southampton.
The firm will build networks in the London boroughs of Barnet, Harrow, Haringey, having already secured contracts for Camden, Wandsworth, Hounslow, Islington and Hammersmith & Fulham.
Arqiva will begin constructing the networks in the next 12 months, starting in area of high footfall such as high streets, using its own phone boxes and council-owned street furniture such as lampposts and buildings.
Arqiva Wi-Fi deal
Residents and visitors will receive 30 minutes of free Wi-Fi each day as well as unlimited access to online council services. Local leaders say the introduction of Wi-Fi will boost their respective shopping areas and make their high streets more competitive.
“We are very happy to be working with an increasing number of local authorities and city centres to help them realise their digital ambitions with first-class Wi-Fi connectivity,” says Nicolas Ott, managing director of telecoms at Arqiva. “Our Wi-Fi and small cells portfolio continues to go from strength to strength; over the past 15 months we have doubled the number of access points deployed.”
A number of major UK cities have agreed deals with private firms to build Wi-Fi networks, with such services seen as a way of improving mobile coverage and capacity in urban areas. Arqiva can already count on Manchester City council as a customer, while Glasgow and Cardiff have signed up with BT and Birmingham, Bradford and Leeds have agreed deals with Virgin Media.
Arqiva was also selected by the government to deliver the £150 million Mobile Infrastructure Project (MIP), which will extend mobile coverage in areas where there is no commercial incentive to do so.
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