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Freerunner UK Preps FREE Wireless Broadband Fund for Remote Areas

Posted: 11th Sep, 2009 By: MarkJ
freerunner logoUK Wi-Fi Hotspot operator Freerunner, which first surfaced in the North East of England during May 2009 by promoting the concept of free wireless broadband access (here), has launched a new fund to help get remote and deprived communities connected.

The fund will allow Freerunner to deploy an initial 50 free to use Hotspots in local communities across the UK. Community members will be able to apply for one of the 50 connections until 25th September 2009 and can choose where they want it - be it the local library, youth centre or pub.

In addition, Freerunner is now working in conjunction with JustGiving.com, the online charity fundraiser; to give 500 UK charity locations free WiFi. JustGiving has close to 8,000 charity members in the UK alone, who will also be invited to take advantage of the offer.

Owen Geddes, CEO of Freerunner, said:

"People need Internet access to be able to function equally in today’s society, and that most basic right is not being given to them. Freerunner can help rise to the challenge set out in the Digital Britain Report – we believe that it is now time for entrepreneurial commercial businesses to take the initiative and solve the problem.

Our team is on stand-by to install an initial 50 hotspots across the UK no matter where they are, and are working to find commercial sponsors for more future locations. We’re also determined to support charities, who play an invaluable role in our communities, by giving people a new reason to visit and giving them a chance to breach the ‘digital divide’ by working closely with companies such as JustGiving.com.”

So far as we can recall, Freerunner bases its service off open source technology and uses a distributed network architecture; no data centres and therefore no single point of failure ensuring greater reliability and low operating costs.

The service generates cash through a mix of sponsorship investments, on-service advertising (you might see an advert while using it) and or a slice of revenue if somebody buys a cup of coffee (just one example) from a cafe where the service has been installed.

Freerunner wants community members from across the country to apply; whether a librarian or the local vicar. The network they install will allow all community members to log-on to the network for free at any time. The successful applicants will be contacted by 1st October 2009 and listed on the Freerunner website.

Members of the community interested in receiving a free hotspot need to send 150 words explaining where and why they want the connection to connectmenow@freerunr.com or fill in their application form. For those without access to email there is a free phone number to contact the team on - 0800 860 0815.
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