29th November: Visitors to London's Leicester Square will from today have free access to the internet, thanks to a Wi-fi hotspot set up by marketing and PR company Four Communications. No longer will you have to purchase a coffee, a burger, or confusingly priced vouchers to access the web. The free connection, 'Four's Free Hotspot', has been set up by the Leicester Square based PR and marketing firm in a bid to create an area anyone can visit and keep in touch with work, family or friends or just surf the internet for information. The hot-spot will be live and available to use 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – with no catches. The only caveat is that there will be a fair use policy in place to ensure all users that want to use it can, at any time day or night, without one person hogging all the bandwidth.
Four Communications account director, Phil Ryan, said: "Working in technology PR it's been a bugbear of mine for some time, the number of different hotspots across the capital and the fact that most of them were either too expensive or reliant on you purchasing another product or service. I've worked on projects for clients in other parts of Europe that enabled free Wi-fi access to whole areas within a city, or even whole towns. It seemed that somewhere as well known as Leicester Square should have a free access point for people to use how they wish and when they wish. It may well not be the capital's first free hotspot zone, but we think it has potential to be the most high profile and widely used."
Working with Nationwide firm Hotspot Solutions, the 8mb line should be able to cater for a high number of users at any one time, and cover a high percentage of the Square itself. Four Communications first came across the firm, after reading a piece in the national press about how the company was enabling small businesses to take advantage of Wi-fi access to bring in new customers.
Jamie Hind, the group's managing director added: "Four came to us with this proposition to set up free access in the Square and we immediately knew it would be a great project to work with them on. Not only will it hopefully raise the profile of Wi-Fi to a larger audience, it will mean that people will no longer be tied into using up credit in one place and losing it if they don't use it within a certain time period. We are hoping that people use the connection and start to think how they can do similar things in other areas, in the UK or further afield, given the number of tourists that visit the square."
Accessing the hotspot will be as simple as turning on your laptop or Wi-fi enabled device, searching for available hotspots in the square (of which there will be several) and choosing the 'Four's Free hotspot' option. Users will then need to open up their browser window, where they will see a Four Communications access page. Then just click the access button to start using the connection.
Four Communications' Phil Ryan continued; "We hope to see as many people use the service as possible, whether it's to surf the internet, access work or personal emails, make a free VoIP call or just to chat online using a messenger programme. Who knows, we might even see the Square become a real hot spot for online networking as more people learn about the service and start to take advantage of it. We have even set up a helpline number, 0845 453 3543, should anyone have difficulties accessing the service."
For more information on Four's Free Hotspot, please contact:
Phil.firstname.lastname@example.org – 0870 420 3257
Greg.email@example.com – 0870 444 4568
For more information on Hotspot Solutions, please contact:
Jamie Hind firstname.lastname@example.org - 01789 774775