Conservative controlled Kingston Council recently announced the rollout of 24/7 free WiFi, which is now live in Kingston’s Ancient Market square and New Malden High Street.
The rollout follows an agreement with the UK communications infrastructure company Arqiva, to improve connectivity in the borough’s district centres and ensure that Kingston is ready for the advent of 5G. Arqiva already holds similar contracts with several other local authorities in London, but Kingston upon Thames is the first borough to be able to offer completely free WiFi on a 24/7 basis.
Visitors to Kingston’s Ancient Market, the setting for seasonal market stalls at present and New Malden High Street, can now benefit from free WiFi and this will soon be rolled out across Surbiton, Tolworth and Chessington over the coming months through accessing the network called RBK_Free_Public_WiFi. Once registered, users can benefit from the free service seamlessly as they move from one district centre to another in the borough.
This project supports the wider ambition of Kingston Council to become a Smart Borough as set out in its digital strategy which outlines the council’s ambition to embed digital technology in its interactions with residents, businesses, visitors and partners, helping to transform delivery of services for the benefit of all.
Kingston Council’s Leader, Cllr Kevin Davis said:
"I’m delighted that we in Kingston are leading the digital revolution amongst London boroughs by being the first to offer completely free WiFi on a 24/7 basis. In an increasingly digital economy, this is a great boost for residents, businesses and visitors to the borough, ensuring that Kingston’s connectivity will drive trade and facilitate ease of communication and transactions on the move.
This is a very significant milestone in our move towards being a smart borough. Enhanced connectivity across all district centres of Kingston upon Thames will ensure that the borough as a whole will benefit from ease of engagement on the go and will be ready for 5G when that becomes a reality."