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AQL Solar Powered Blue Phone Boxes Boost Leeds UK Fibre Network

Saturday, Jun 29th, 2013 (3:02 am) - Score 1,968

Business telecoms operator Aql has begun to roll-out 24 reconditioned phone boxes to help the deployment of its new metropolitan fibre optic broadband and free wifi network around the West Yorkshire city of Leeds in England.

Each “old” K6 phone box is solar powered, supports low power network equipment, offers FREE WiFi and has been re-painted blue. The boxes themselves are reconditioned models of the “iconic phone boxes from the 1930’s” as designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott.

Dr Adam Beaumont, Aql CEO and Founder, said:

We’ve designed the boxes to house a unique low energy, high bandwidth network, which will allow unmetered, free wifi access to anyone within the vicinity.

We know Leeds City Council is rolling out free wifi within parts of the City Centre, but we’re dedicated to filling in the gaps and to rolling out services within South Leeds to help catalyse growth in the area

We wanted to create an icon for Leeds – something unique which if you had your photo taken next to it and uploaded it, for example, to facebook, friends would say – aha ! you must be in Leeds! We’re hoping that the boxes become something that the residents accept as part of the cityscape“.

..or for drunks to use as a latrine on a Friday night, whatever the case may be. Thankfully people won’t actually be able to get inside the boxes because they hold aql’s network equipment (probably a wise move). But they will still allow users to make phone calls via touch screens on the outside (including 999 calls), which may or may not be so wise.

The new found interactivity will also allow users to leave “video blogs and messages to share their memories about the area where each box is located“, which we’re 100% sure won’t lead to anybody mooning the cameras or other such silliness. Nope.. definitely not.

Aql intends to start deploying the reconditions phone boxes to the South of the city first, where internet connectivity is not so well developed as elsewhere in the district.

By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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