Published On: Sun, May 23rd, 2010 at 10:24pm

Free WiFi for all please?

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We are often out and about and have a real need for wifi wherever we go. It allows us to research articles, answer emails and also post articles to the site whilst on the run.

There is apparently a cost to this activity in environmental terms. As well as the coffee which usually accompanies such activities, all the tweets sent each day by everyone in Twitterland produce about 1 tonne of greenhouse gases, according to Technocite which explains the background for the way the emissions were calculated.

If you then add all the other computer-based activity that we engage in, then it is clear that even being largely a home-based worker who hardly uses a car can still produce harmful effects!

Would it be more beneficial then to have free wifi for the whole city? Well it certainly would be much more convenient than having to remember where the nearest cafe with wifi is! If there was such a system in Edinburgh, then would it enable all of us to dispense with individual routers all receiving and transmitting the wifi signal in our homes and businesses?

In November last year the city of Swindon introduced free wifi for all of the people living there. It is proposed that everyone will get free wifi for a certain period of time, and they can pay for additional time. There will be a mesh of transmitters around the city on the lamp posts to ensure that the coverage is complete. In Swindon there was a public-private involvement and that seems to have avoided some of the financing problems, but according to the Get Signal website there have been a few technical issues including the snow!

So even if we could overcome any financial and technical issues would it work here? Have the council explored this as an option for Edinburgh? We have asked – and we wait to find out the answer! We will report back to you on that and In the meantime if you have any comments then please use our Editor’s Blog page!

Andy Sutty has taken the time to go to Highworth where they do have free wifi for all and his blog tells us more about it – slightly disappointing speeds however! Oh and there is more about the Swindon story – on The Swindon Advertiser! Not all sweetness and light yet…..


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