Haringey Council £478k wi-fi deal will make high streets ‘more competitive’ says finance chief

A £478,000 wi-fi deal to put routers on public lampposts will make Haringey’s high streets “more modern and competitive”, according to a cabinet member.

Cllr Joe Goldberg, Haringey Council’s cabinet member for finance, signed off on the scheme last week.

It will allow communications firm Arqiva to install wireless equipment on all the borough’s major high streets, including in Crouch End, Muswell Hill, Tottenham and Wood Green.

The 10-year contract will provide the council with “at least” £478,000, according to a council spokesman, through a concession fee and a share of the company’s income from the equipment.

But the plans were criticised by the Liberal Democrat opposition group, with deputy group leader Cllr Katherine Reece calling them “vague”.

Cllr Goldberg said: “Bringing free wi-fi will make Haringey’s high streets more modern and competitive, encouraging residents to shop locally by giving them fingertip access to more information about what is available in their community.”

Half an hour of free wi-fi will be available to residents and, while pricing beyond that has not been finalised, an Arqiva spokesman said the standard tariffs for London boroughs are £5 per day, £10 per week and £30 for a month’s access.

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Council websites and online services will be free all day.

A council spokesman said: “The equipment will be black and in keeping with the lamp posts on which it is positioned.”

The date when the routers will be introduced has not been decided.