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Sunderland joins the growing family of Friendly WiFi towns and cities

Sunderland Smart City

Sunderland City Council via their smart city infrastructure, has expanded their WiFi network, providing great access across the region to residents and visitors. They have been committed to providing a more reliable and superfast service, and have recently achieved this via their strategic partnership with BAI Communications (BAI).

Friendly WiFi worked with the council and their partner BAI, throughout the project, as they recognised the importance of not only providing a superfast and reliable service, but a safe one. They engaged with Friendly WiFi to ensure that their newly expanded service would be safe for everyone to use. By being Friendly WiFi certified they are showing that inappropriate and harmful material is blocked, protecting users from being exposed and creating a comfortable browsing experience for all.

Providing a safe WiFi experience is vital when you are engaging and connecting with visitors, communities, and children. The Friendly WiFi certification enables towns and cities to clearly demonstrate that the wellbeing of those using their WiFi service is important and a key part of the user journey and engagement.

Bev Smith, director at Friendly WiFi, said: “We are delighted to support Sunderland’s digital infrastructure improvements. We recognise that many families and young adults use the public WiFi and it is important to reassure them that it is filtered and safe.

“The council’s people first approach is evident as they strive to connect and empower residents, businesses and visitors to the city with their safe public WiFi that carries our Friendly WiFi standard.”

Bev was supported by Liz St Louis, director of smart cities at Sunderland City Council, who said: “We are passionate about creating better connected experiences for all, ensuring no one and nowhere is left behind as we continue to expand the availability of free, superfast public WiFi in Sunderland city centre and the coast at Roker.

“This extended access will not only allow for greater digital inclusion, it will open up new opportunities for seamless connectivity from place to place. Our focus is on superfast, reliable and uninterrupted connectivity, whilst ensuring a safe and comfortable browsing experience for all – this is why it was vital to obtain the Friendly WiFi certification, which we are proud of achieving.”

About Friendly WiFi

Friendly WiFi – providing a certification standard for Public WiFi networks, to identify public places in areas such as Transport, Retail, Hospitality, Leisure and Education, who are providing safe filtered WiFi. Initiated by the UK Government with support from the UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS) and managed by the RDI trade organisation, the certification means that children, parents and guardians can look for the Friendly WiFi symbol to be sure that the public WiFi network is tested and verified on an annual basis to make sure pornographic and child abuse websites are blocked.

For more information on the Friendly WiFi certification, visit

About Sunderland Our Smart City

Sunderland City Council’s Smart City Plan connects people to places – a decade of social and digital transformation to accelerate city-wide improvements for generations to come. The dynamic city of Sunderland is a place attractive to investors and talented individuals alike. By connecting people and places, our smart city will enable smarter systems and increased opportunities to transform the ways in which we exist for a connected, healthy and vibrant experience for all. For more information about the city’s digital transformation projects and to follow our smart city journey, see

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