Tower Hamlets to get free Wifi with £1.75 million from council

The Tower Hamlets council has set aside for a free WiFi scheme, a sum of £1.75 million, approved by the the cabinet members. The London Borough in East London will provide the service to the borough’s town centres and social housing sites through a phased roll-out and the first areas on the free Wi-Fi project will be Chirp Street, Watney Market and Brick Lane, live by the autumn of next year. The scheme will see over 800 businesses and some 130,000 homes, within a radius of 800m, able to connect to the free service. The local authority also intends to provide help to people unfamiliar with the internet, by giving them training by working with a provider and housing associations. The Idea Stores across the borough will have training available from October.

John Briggs, the Mayor of Tower Hamlets, said the investment in a free WiFi service will bring the internet to everyone and will help particular groups currently struggling to afford access and who most need it for the opportunities it can open up. He added that they would break sown digital barriers and also provide training for businesses and residents to help them out on it. The average cost of Wi-Fi in London is estimated to be around £18 per month and low income families cannot afford it. With 24% of low income families in Tower Hamelts not having WiFi access, 45% of those above 50 and about 40% of those with divisibility don’t get access to Wi-Fi. This council scheme aims to put more people online for free.

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