Forget the negativity attached to the ‘municipal’ WiFi of the past; public WiFi is back in vogue, and the latest offering is faster, more efficient and, crucially, smarter – equipped to handle the increasing need for an ‘always on’, connected world.

Around a decade ago, the tech landscape was buzzing over the possibility of delivering free, open internet access to all, through the installation of ‘municipal’ WiFi networks in towns and cities.

Buoyed by the idealism of reaching populations otherwise unable to access the web, the optimism of early testing – and, perhaps, the naivety and hunger of early network developers – town and city councils were unable to see the bubble was about to burst. Implementing these municipal WiFi networks proved to be less than simple: the infrastructure to provide seamless connectivity being prohibitively expensive, and the regulatory hoops too numerous.

Enter the next generation of public WiFi

Now, some ten years on, the situation is a lot rosier…free, public WiFi is back on the agenda of town and city councils, in a ‘smarter’ guise that is far from being a mere means of allowing large numbers of people to surf the web.

Aside from the obvious advances in reliability and performance of the technology, this renewal of interest in public WiFi networks is being driven by an increasing expectation of ‘always on’ connectivity, in turn fuelled by the proliferation of mobile devices as the primary internet access points of today: a ‘mobile first’ world.

Furthermore, the Internet of Things is seeing more objects in the world around us becoming connected as well, opening up new opportunities to make cities smarter. Using the efficient, public WiFi networks of today, town and city councils can look forward to connecting civic infrastructure – such as street lights, traffic systems and parking facilities – and providing more seamless access to services online.

Finally, the financing of the new breed of public WiFi network has also been transformed, with installation and management costs becoming more affordable for councils, and – in some cases – the efficiencies saved through the streamlining of services being able to fund the networks without any increase in taxation.

As ever, however, choosing a reputable provider is crucial. Councils need to choose a provider that has proven experience of delivering WiFi solutions that really work for users.

Why stop there, though? There are expert providers out there that can not only deliver robust, efficient open WiFi networks at no cost to their customers, but can also monetise those networks – providing broad revenue-generating opportunities to benefit town and city economies.

intechnologyWiFi provides an unrivalled, end-to-end, truly free WiFi solution that addresses the connectivity, coverage and capacity challenges faced by stadiums, town and city councils, and event organisers, while at the same time offering significant revenue-generating opportunities.

intechnologyWiFi is part of Intechnology plc and is owned by Peter Wilkinson, one of the UK’s most successful technology entrepreneurs, with a proven, 30-year track record in delivering profitable, free technical solutions, including the first free consumer internet service, Freeserve. intechnologyWiFi brings with it all the heritage, knowledge and resource of Intechnology plc, together with robust manufacturing and support facilities, a strong financial position and the expertise in IT to make your civic WiFi vision a reality.

If you would like to discuss your options for developing a free WiFi solution for your town or city, please get in touch. The team would love to speak to you.

Natalie Duffield

Natalie has spent 20 years working in the IT and Telecommunications industries alongside leading tech entrepreneur Peter Wilkinson. A confident, tactical, strategic thinker, and a dynamic CEO, Natalie has experience in a wealth of areas, including managed services, cloud computing, hosted services and outsourced infrastructure, data centre space, virtual server storage environments, telephony and networks.

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