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By: MarkJ - 1 October, 2010 (12:26 PM)
wallingford uk wifiThe UK governments Culture Minister, Ed Vaizey, has today opened a new broadband wireless ( Wi-Fi ) network in the Oxfordshire town of Wallingford. The network, a joint project between TJames Telecoms and Wallingford Partnership Ltd, covers the town centre and is completely free to use.

The signal is available from St Leonard's Square in the south to the north end of the market place, and from the Riverside at Crowmarsh (and also the Boathouse pub) in the east to the Kinecroft in the west. Residents have been told to simply detect the "Wallingford WiFi" wireless signal (SSID) and connect when it's detected.

The network itself, which has actually been in operation since August, was setup using some of the £200k secured from the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA) and South Oxfordshire District Council (SODC) during 2009. The service is currently still only open on a trial basis (subject to a fair use policy) and may ultimately require the payment of a small fee to access.

However Vaizey still appears to be somewhat naive to the perverse irony of helping to open a free town Wi-Fi network while simultaneously still supporting the Digital Economy Act 2010 (DEA). The DEA makes offering such an open service extremely difficult due to the perceived risk of abuse by "illegal" copyright P2P file sharing activity.
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