Mark Lowe, Strategic Director at Pinacl & Jo Evans Digital Project Officer
at Newport City Council
Newport City Council’s free public WiFi has been awarded a government-recognised certification that proves its network is safe for children and young people, it was announced today (June 27, 2017).
Public WiFi has been available across Council buildings since 2015 and around the City Centre since 2016 to around 6,000 users each month – with 500 new or repeat users every day.
Newport’s WiFi networks are provided by Pinacl, a North Wales based ICT Systems Integrator, which has facilitated both its in-building network - Newport Community Cloud - as well as the concession-based network across the City Centre.
Both networks were built with the minimum safe filtering standards in place and this new certification by Friendly WiFi, which is the only scheme of its kind in the world, has now given the official stamp of approval – and parents peace of mind.
Venues displaying the Friendly WiFi symbol have WiFi filters which deny access to webpages known by the Internet Watch Foundation to host indecent images and advertisements, or links to such content.
Nearly 2,250 under-18s have logged in to the City Centre WiFi since it went live in 2015 and more than 3,000 youngsters have used Newport Community Cloud.
Councillor David Mayer, Cabinet Member for Community and Resource at Newport City Council, said: “We are immensely pleased our residents and visitors can access reliable public WiFi within our City Centre and beyond.
“Our new Friendly WiFi certification means families can rest assured that we have safe and secure filtering in place which gives us all confidence as we go about our daily lives.
“This is especially important now, as you only have to look around and see how much of a smartphone nation we’ve become. We’re proud to have taken this step and look forward to even more people benefitting from this service.”
Newport’s certification for providing safe WiFI is the latest in a growing number of other UK towns and cities, such as York and Taunton Deane, who have also been awarded the symbol.
Mark Lowe, Strategic Director for Pinacl, said: “We are delighted that our WiFi solutions in Newport have been recognised by Friendly WiFi. We pride ourselves on delivering secure wireless solutions with robust content filtering in place and this certification helps to reassure the public that their children are safe online.”
Director of Friendly WiFi Bev Smith said: “By displaying the Friendly WiFi symbol, organisations provide a great deal of reassurance to people that the public WiFi that is being accessed is filtered and safe.
“This is particularly important in areas where there are high levels of young people and children – especially as their use of smart, mobile technology increases.
“Newport City Council has been absolutely focused on achieving this standard for its residents and visitors and working with Pinacl they have achieved the best service possible for all.”
About Friendly WiFi
Friendly WiFi is the government-initiated safe certification standard for public WiFi. It was initiated by the UK Government in 2014 to ensure public Wi-Fi meets minimum filtering standards, particularly in those areas where children are present.
Venues displaying the Friendly WiFi symbol have Wi-Fi filters which deny access to pornography and webpages known by the Internet Watch Foundation to host indecent images of children and advertisements or links to such content.
Friendly WiFi is operated by RDI (UK) which oversees the UK database of qualified, security checked, insured and safe digital installers.