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Wireless ISP Connexin Wins Contract to Cover Hull City with Free WiFi

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016 (1:52 pm) - Score 632

Fixed wireless broadband ISP Connexin has won a contract from Hull City Council, which will require them to roll-out a new network of free public WiFi hotspots around most the city centre. The provider also hopes to target another 15-20 UK cities over the next three years, but there is a caveat.

The 10-year concession agreement will see Connexin install special WiFi access points on top of existing and new street furniture (lamps, CCTV cameras etc.), many of which will be connected back into their core network via a high capacity fibre optic cable. The contract award is hardly surprising given that the ISP already offers a superior 60Mbps capable fixed wireless broadband service to several parts of Hull.

By comparison the free public WiFi network won’t offer the same kind of superfast performance and should instead deliver more modest speeds of around 10-15Mbps. Sadly the free network is likely to be hobbled by a 50MB (MegaByte) daily usage allowance, which in this day and age could easily be gobbled simply by loading a couple of web-pages.

However the limit will be waived for those attempting to access council run websites and services. As usual it’s expected that locals will be able to get a more flexible connection by paying for an upgrade, although the details have yet to be clarified (Hull Daily Mail).

Furqan Alamgir, CEO of Connexin, said:

“We want to build this network in another 15 to 20 cities in the next three years. Hull being our base, this is where we invest and where we are growing the technology we want to show off.

Some people are either financially unable or don’t want to get into long-term broadband contracts just to access essential online services. We are building this network so people can have access to these types of council services, all day and every day, without signing a long-term broadband contract, and no other wi-fi provider is really offering that.

There are very few places with a network of this size and capacity. There is lots of flexibility for other applications, such as mobile CCTV, traffic management or to control the street lamps.

We are putting Hull on the digital map with this type of technology. This is what we are going to be showing off globally.”

Contrary to Furqan’s “no other wi-fi provider” remark, there are in fact quite a few free WiFi hotspots around the country that do not impose a hard cap or contract and only limit your usage by the available connection speed. Never the less this does look to be a positive development for the city.

Apparently the new network is due to go live in December 2016 and a report last year suggested that the contract could be worth as much as £200,000.

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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 Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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