Wired Brum

While Birmingham may have a new library of the written word the transfer of knowledge and information across the airwaves will soon match the ambitions to 'rewrite the book' with Virgin Media's free public wifi, http://birminghamcentral.blogspot.com/2013/08/the-final-literary-countdown.html, and the extension of 4G from Vodaphone to the city transforming access wirelessly.

Virgin Media's free public wifi has launched a trial on Broad Street ahead of it's planned roll out of it's network over the next six months to provide WiFi to Victoria Square, New Street, Moor Street, High Street, St Philips's Cathedral and Centenary Square fronting the new library, http://birminghamupdates.com/post/60754060551/birmingham-city-council-and-virgin-media-business.

The wifi is aimed at boosting connectivity and stimulating economic growth and digital inclusion and will be completely free of charge and with no usage limits.  This, with the library as a physical hub of learning and knowledge, should empower Birmingham residents and visitors and highlight the importance of the digital economy and access to information in transforming people's lives.  A provision of city wide wifi, paid for by even a small local levy included in council tax rates, would stimulate the city and encourage businesses and entrepreneurs.  There has been talk of adding wifi to infrastructure such as lamp posts and bus stops and with city wide coverage this would really tackle digital exclusion and show Birmingham as a real pioneer in digital inclusion and provide physical meaning to knowledge as power.  For a city that helped shape the modern world in it's invention this would give rise to the new information revolution.

Aside from the free wifi, Vodaphone will extend their 4G coverage to Birmingham on September 28th, http://www.engadget.com/2013/09/09/vodafone-4g-five-uk-cities-september-28th/, joining provider EE in providing superfast mobile.     

With all of this information flying through the air there is however a risk that the 4G 800MHz mobile signal could affect your freeview TV; only a minority should be affected so don't panic straight away with an estimated 90,000 people who rely solely on Freeview affected UK Wide.

at800 is the organisation set up to raise awareness of the introduction of 4G at 800MHz and has launched a postbox for tweets campaign allowing you to send friends and family members (who live in 4G enabled area) who aren't on twitter postcards with a twitter message for them, http://www.cable.co.uk/news/at800-launches-postbox-for-tweets-to-highlight-4g-rollout-801627614/

If you have received an at800 postcard, and had good Freeview reception in the past but experience disruption to your television picture over the next few months, you may be affected. Symptoms may include a loss of sound, blocky images or loss of some or all Freeview channels. Only those who watch TV on Freeview are expected to be affected.  Satellite and cable TV services are unlikely to be affected by 4G at 800 MHz.https://at800.tv/faq/how-will-i-know-if-my-tv-is-affected/

More information on 4G and if your services have been affected or you want more information you can view the at800 website.


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