Free public Wi-Fi scheme for town
A major Wiltshire town is to become the first in the UK to offer free public wireless internet access to its entire population, it was claimed.
Swindon Borough Council plan for all 186,000 citizens to have blanket "Wi-Fi mesh" coverage by April 2010.
Line rental will be free, and there will be no connection charge, say council officials.
Wireless internet allows computer users to access the internet without the need for wired connection to phone lines.
Subscribers to the service - to be called Signal - will have limited access but could pay for 20Mb upgrades.
This fee would be "significantly less" than current broadband suppliers, scheme bosses estimate.
The £1m project will be run by Digital City UK Ltd, in which Swindon Borough Council has a 35% share.
Some 1,400 secure access points will be fitted around Swindon, similar to those used in homes "but with a much higher performance," is is claimed.
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