A new free public Wi-Fi network has launched in the UK that aims to enable consumers to get free broadband access in "underserved and digitally remote" areas of the UK's suburbs, by installing free to use access points in public and commercial venues of any size.

"Community-oriented venues", such as public spaces, libraries, transport hubs, community centres and schools will receive the service completely free of charge.

In commercial venues, like coffee shops, pubs, clubs, restaurants and sports venues, the free access will be funded by the venue - but at what's said to be a third of current costs from other operators, a direct challenge to services from the likes of The Cloud and BT.

"Public Wi-Fi has been stuck in a time warp, with niche propositions, a marginal business model and networking principles from last century", says Owen Geddes, CEO of Freerunner.

"Freerunner is bringing the industry up to date with modern distributed networking and a business model that not only makes sense to everybody in the chain but also makes a profit. Freerunner is not just the next generation user experience, it is the next evolution of Wi-Fi".

Freerunner has received initial funding from NorthStar Equity and the North East will be the first to benefit from the roll-out.