In These New Times

A new paradigm for a post-imperial world

Bridgend makes WiFi history

Posted by seumasach on June 29, 2008


This is the town where there have been so many tragic suicides amongst young people. Depression has been linked to EM exposure, most recently in an article quoting Roger Coghill, a scientist involved with SAGE, an advisory body to the government. However, that article failed to point out Bridgend’s historic first as a Wi-Fi hotspot.

Apr 14 2005 David Williamson, Western Mail

INTERNET history is on the verge of being made in Bridgend.

The council will be the first in England and Wales to establish a wireless “WiFi” network in the town centre where people will be able to access the internet, regardless of which service-provider they use.

Most wireless “hot spots” – locations where laptop users can access the internet – have been operated by individual companies. Bridgend’s initiative means the town has the potential to become Britain’s biggest open-plan office by offering the first multi-service provider network.

The deal, signed with WiFi provider The Cloud, puts Bridgend at the forefront of the Government’s ambition for all councils to offer universal online access to public services by 2008.

It enables customers of 20 leading service providers to get online using their existing account. Under the terms of the agreement, WiFi will be deployed in two phases.

During phase one, public access WiFi will be installed in 10 libraries in the council, while phase two involves creating an outdoor network in Bridgend town centre. This may be extended to Porthcawl and Maesteg.

George Polk, CEO of The Cloud, said, “By choosing an open, multi-service provider network, Bridgend is the first council to try to reduce one of the key barriers to making broadband widely available.”

The Government is concerned that sections of the population are not benefiting from the Internet, either because they cannot afford to use the internet or due to a lack of computer skills and facilities.

The Cloud is also involved in an internet kiosk initiative called Mylocal, which will provide access to online government services at post offices and 3,000 other locations.

Bridgend Council is hoping its pioneering internet initiative will raise the profile of the region.

The council already has a wireless infrastructure for its employees.


One Response to “Bridgend makes WiFi history”

  1. chamfort said

    Thanks to your posting this @ Guardian Bad Science, I found the same story from 5 months ago

    ‘Barrie Trower said he is “99 per cent sure” Bridgend’s 13 suspected suicides are a result of waves from mobile phones, wi-fi and pagers.’

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