UK’s ‘Biggest’ Muni Wi-Fi Network Goes Live

UK’s largest free municipal wireless network, Norfolk Open Link, is now up and running. Kurt Frary, Open Link project manager for Norfolk County Council, claimed that the pilot system is “the first network of its type to tackle both urban and rural areas at once.” The East of England Development Agency financed the project, whose free broadband coverage has now extended to council employees and the general public from the original plan that limits it to local businesses. The network is placed atop the County Hall and is supported by a “pre-WiMax” 5.8GHz connection for backhaul and between-the-mesh nodes connectivity. Norfolk Open Link believes the project is not in any way competing with private sector services. “We’re not selling a service and we’re not competing with telcos, because it’s an outside wireless network,” Frary stressed. Under the plan, council employees and businesses that agree to give full feedback on their use will get 1Mbps in connection speed, while the remaining users will be restricted to 256Kbps.
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