The city of Norwich is now home to the largest free Wi-Fi network in the UK.
It covers a 4 kilometre radius from the County Hall in a fully-meshed area that is connected by transmitters on lampposts.
The central connection is on top of the County Hall, and is a pre-WiMax transmitter with a 5.8GHz connection.
The Wi-Fi coverage continues outside of the central areas in more rural areas where hotspots have been set up.
Originally designed to give free broadband to local business to stimulate the city’s economy, it was then expanded to include council employees and the general public.
Although businesses who agree to provide feedback on the service can receive up to 1MB speed, individuals will only receive speeds up to 256Kbps.
Plans for citywide free Wi-Fi have been scuppered in other towns because of objections from the private sector broadband providers.
Kurt Frary, Open Link project manager for Norfolk Country Council, said in response, “We’re not selling a service and we’re not competing with telcos, because it’s an outside wireless network".
“You may get it in your house but it’s not being sold that way – we’re not giving the same class of service.”