Free street WiFi plan for Brighton and Hove

A switched on city where entrepreneurs cut deals from deckchairs and visitors seek out top attractions on the move – that’s the new vision for Brighton and Hove.

The city council plans to spend £150,000 on free street WiFi in central and commercial areas and the seafront.

Transmitters could be mounted on council buildings and lampposts.

The council says the plan could net at least £5 million of government funding.

The council is working with Wired Sussex to outline the business case for the bid.

It would be submitted to the government in September with results expected in the chancellor’s Autumn Statement.

The money has become available from the council’s underspend from the last financial year.

A total of £150,000 was allocated towards the bid at a policy and resources committee meeting yesterday (June 14).

Under the plan, which will be considered by the economic development and culture committee on Thursday, June 21, ultrafast cable broadband would be installed at the New England and North Laine Business Quarter, the Lewes Road ‘academic corridor’ and around Brighton and Hove railway stations.

Earlier this year the city missed out on the first round of £100 million government funding to create ten super-connected cities because the government did not consider Brighton and Hove to be a large enough city to qualify.

Following the ‘Let Brighton Bid’ campaign, supported by The Argus, ministers in March announced another £50 million would become available to smaller cities, including Brighton and Hove.

A spokesman for Brighton and Hove City Council said: “Street WiFi would mean faster internet, email and social media for businesses and individuals wherever they are in a wide area of the city centre and sea front.

“It could mean a huge amount of online business or social activity could take place from a deckchair, a park bench or a car park rather than being tied at the currently limited number of WiFi hotspots in cafes or bars.”

Phil Jones, managing director of Wired Sussex, said: “Better, widespread Wi-Fi coverage in Brighton is fast becoming a key ingredient for delivering business growth.”

Comments (11)

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4:37pm Fri 15 Jun 12

Hove Actually says...

Free Wi-fi for businesses and people in deck chairs (OAPs)
IS that really the most pressing thing we have to do with our taxes?

Even if you get some funding to begin with, once this runs out (Like maybe the next Budget).......who will be paying for it then
Free Wi-fi for businesses and people in deck chairs (OAPs) IS that really the most pressing thing we have to do with our taxes? Even if you get some funding to begin with, once this runs out (Like maybe the next Budget).......who will be paying for it then Hove Actually

4:42pm Fri 15 Jun 12

lindi_lmf says...

Free Wi-fi, why? Surely money is better spent keeping vital bus services and making sure children and older people can get home or to and from school.
Free Wi-fi, why? Surely money is better spent keeping vital bus services and making sure children and older people can get home or to and from school. lindi_lmf

4:45pm Fri 15 Jun 12

Hotbeans says...

Even more faces buried in their devices instead of interacting with humanity then.
Even more faces buried in their devices instead of interacting with humanity then. Hotbeans

4:52pm Fri 15 Jun 12

Julian Wilson says...

Well, that's fine, but how about wi-fi at the Jubilee Library? Still not available last time I asked.
Well, that's fine, but how about wi-fi at the Jubilee Library? Still not available last time I asked. Julian Wilson

5:05pm Fri 15 Jun 12

UglyAmerican says...

Most of the public Wifi schemes I have seen are funded by advertising and available bandwidth is abysmal. They are also frequently rife with miscreants sniffing traffic for cleartext UserIDs and passwords.
Most of the public Wifi schemes I have seen are funded by advertising and available bandwidth is abysmal. They are also frequently rife with miscreants sniffing traffic for cleartext UserIDs and passwords. UglyAmerican

5:47pm Fri 15 Jun 12

GraemeDavis says...

This appears to be a useful service that will do much to support Brighton and Hove and generate income - exactly the sort of scheme we need.
This appears to be a useful service that will do much to support Brighton and Hove and generate income - exactly the sort of scheme we need. GraemeDavis

9:00pm Fri 15 Jun 12

Morpheus says...

These people are deluded.
These people are deluded. Morpheus

9:52pm Fri 15 Jun 12

Metro Reader says...

I am almost speechless, not a day goes by that I am not flabbergasted with some drivel from either this paper or the Green nasal mucus of a council.

£150,000 just to make a bid! IF people want mobile internet then they will purchase it.

The library has internet connected PCs that can be booked for FREE so no need for free wifi also.

Any decent business already has a mobile enabled work force.

Brighton needs to stop thinking its London with the same resources; it’s a dirty seaside town that is living beyond its means, with only a half decent rail link to London.

£150k would be a start to cleaning up the cesspit that is London road for a start.
I am almost speechless, not a day goes by that I am not flabbergasted with some drivel from either this paper or the Green nasal mucus of a council. £150,000 just to make a bid! IF people want mobile internet then they will purchase it. The library has internet connected PCs that can be booked for FREE so no need for free wifi also. Any decent business already has a mobile enabled work force. Brighton needs to stop thinking its London with the same resources; it’s a dirty seaside town that is living beyond its means, with only a half decent rail link to London. £150k would be a start to cleaning up the cesspit that is London road for a start. Metro Reader

10:13pm Fri 15 Jun 12

PaulOckenden says...

There's plenty of free Wi-Fi already available around the city, and those who need it will surely seek it out (as they currently do).

This money would be much better spent cleaning up some of the shabbier areas of the town. Regularly.
There's plenty of free Wi-Fi already available around the city, and those who need it will surely seek it out (as they currently do). This money would be much better spent cleaning up some of the shabbier areas of the town. Regularly. PaulOckenden

1:47pm Sat 16 Jun 12

Ballroom Blitz says...

3G works fine all over the city centre. I fail to see why taxpayers money has to be spent supplying unnecessary free wifi, even if there is a government grant available. Why does anyone think that wifi is a right? It isn't. Pay for it like everybody else.
3G works fine all over the city centre. I fail to see why taxpayers money has to be spent supplying unnecessary free wifi, even if there is a government grant available. Why does anyone think that wifi is a right? It isn't. Pay for it like everybody else. Ballroom Blitz

1:32pm Sun 17 Jun 12

Reflect on your post says...

Great plan. Just what the taxpayers in this city need - something to show for their contributions, rather than simply funding the lifestyles of others who don't pay their way.

Lets hope we get the approvals through asap
Great plan. Just what the taxpayers in this city need - something to show for their contributions, rather than simply funding the lifestyles of others who don't pay their way. Lets hope we get the approvals through asap Reflect on your post

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