Great leap forward for free Wi-Fi in the UK

20 May 2009

Can free Wi-Fi ever be a bad thing? We’ve done some rudimentary mathematics using our fingers and toes and decided that no, it can not. So it’s hats off to a new company, Freerunner, who are promising to spread free Wi-Fi all over the land, starting off in the North East of England.

They’re aiming to supply Wi-Fi to  “underserved and digitally remote” areas of the UK with the installation of free-to-use access points in public and commercial venues. The venue pays, at a cost that Freerunner says is significantly less than rivals such as The Cloud and BT, and we, the customers get free internet access.

They’ll also be providing their services free-of-charge to what they describe as “community-oriented venues” – public libraries, community centres, schools etc. If you’re a business that already has a broadband connection that you’d like to share with your customers now, you can do it for as little as £149.99 (plus VAT) per year. As far as we can see, everyone’s going to win out of this one.



  • Nobby
    Whether everyone wins depends on the policy of the business that pay for it. There used to be a decent independent coffee shop near us. Their rules are that to use free wifi you have to buy a drink/food every hour. Fair enough, they have to make some money back to make the service worthwhile. The problem is they never had that many seats or tables. Now they often have one person sitting per table, buying the cheapest drink or sandwich once every hour or so. Regular customers can no longer sit down - there are plenty of free seats, but no tables unless you want to share with someone with a laptop. So regular customers go elsewhere and the business has less customers than they used to get, because the loners with laptops take up all the tables and extend their drinks as much as possible to avoid paying for more.
  • Pete
    Cant really complain about it can you tho (relating to no free tables.) I visit this site through the hotukdeals link, the website that posts bargains then basically says ‘buy as many of these as you can, theyre cheap.’ So cant complain about people buying a coffee, say £3, then using the internet for an hour. My 12Gb dongle cost £100, know what id rather pay. ( Tho im not one of the people who would sit taking the space – I would feel that im taking the mick.)
  • james
    Uses your existing broadband connection - we send you the WiFi access point and you plug it in So all they do is customise your hotspot for £150?
  • Dont B.
    Might aswell buy a fon router. That does the same thing.
  • Paul N.
    While fon is great it's an entirely different proposition to the one above.
  • Freerunner B.
    [...] few months ago, we were happy to report on the launch of a company, Freerunner, whose aim is to supply WiFi to  “underserved and digitally remote” areas of the UK with the [...]

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