Public to have say on wireless trial

STEVE DOWNES A pioneering £1.35m project that has brought wireless internet access to Norwich is due to come to an end in a few months - and the public is being asked for its views on its future.

STEVE DOWNES

A pioneering £1.35m project that has brought wireless internet access to Norwich is due to come to an end in a few months - and the

public is being asked for its views on its

future.

The Norfolk Openlink project ends on March 31. From tomorrow to November 30, users logging onto the Norfolk Openlink network and anyone visiting www.norfolkopenlink.

com can complete a survey, with the results shaping future options.

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The scheme, which was launched in July 2006, is managed by Norfolk County Council and fully funded by the East of England Development Agency.

It is the first wireless broadband network to pilot rural and urban locations and is the largest of its kind in the UK.

The network covers most of Norwich city centre, to a 4km radius from County Hall, as well as key sites to the east and west of the city, including Broadland Business Park, UEA, Norwich Science Park and Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. Following an extension of the scheme in January, it also covers parts of south Norfolk.

Regulations do not permit the general use of public money to fund such services, but a private/public sector partnership could be a future option, with the other end of the scale being a possible decision to take down the pilot equipment.

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