London has gained yet another Wi-Fi network thanks to the combined forces of free-hotspot.com and Wi-Fi network infrastructure firm MeshHopper. The "free" service will cover residents and businesses along a 22km stretch of the River Thames:
MeshHopper is the company behind the paid-for Thames Online Wi-Fi network, which went fully commercial last year and which covers the same stretch of the river, from Millbank in central London to Greenwich in south-east London.
The free network, which has been branded as "online-4-free.com", gives users free access if they agree to view a 15 to 30 second advert every 15 minutes. If users don't want to view the adverts, they are charged one of a range of tariffs, including £2.95 per hour or £9.95 a month.
The free service operates with modest download speeds of 256Kbps. The paid-for services operate at a faster 500Kbps.
It's reported that the network will be extended to 35km by August this year. There's already a similar network in Norwich and Manchester city centre is expected to get one within the next month or so.
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