Free Community WiFi introduces Lockeridge to the open digital universe
Lockeridge, along with other pockets of habitation dotted along the Kennet Valley has in effect been a 'dead zone' for external digital communication. Or until very recently. The Marlborough Area Development Trust's (MADT) introduction of Free Community WiFi has introduced Lockeridge to the Digital Age.
Whilst residents can potentially access a good broadband service in the home (BT Infinity is available), mobile phone users of any network in the central area of the village have had to rely on domestic broadband links, Vodafone's SureSignal or hanging out of an upstairs window to get a signal.
MADT is in the process of brining this to an end. They have recently installed Free Community WiFi hubs in the Kennet Valley Hall and the 'Who'd A Thought It', and other locations will follow which will extend and strengthen the coverage across the village.
What will this offer? WiFi users will have access to a freely available signal outside the home, initially close to the pub or village hall, and mobile phone users with a 'WiFi Calling' facility on their mobile (most newish - up to 3yrs old - phones will have this as standard will be able to make and receive calls, texts and every other communication that they would in areas where the signal is at an acceptable 'normal' level).
This is an extension of the system that MADT has created and developed in Marlborough where there is free WiFi throughout the length of the High Street. A number of local business ‘partners’ in the town (local businesses, estate agents and the National Trust) have had Wifi boxes installed in their premises (click here) to find out more). The Community Wifi system can be set up in private houses too.
MADT emphasise that their system is secure with a firewall to ensure that users of the Free Community Wifi service cannot gain access to the host site broadband router or to their computer and files. In addition the system blocks access to undesirable sites and has a ‘fair use’ policy.
User access to the Internet is controlled through a special MADT portal which uses authentication processes to provide users with free access for about 20 minutes). Longer periods of time can be arranged too through entering an access code obtainable from the MADT.
The Trust are keen to extend this Free Community Wifi service to other villages too - click here to find out how to make this happen.