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Skype To Offer Free Wi-Fi Across The U.K.

Free Wi-Fi access in cafes and shops across Britain is coming, courtesy of Skype. The Microsoft-owned firm, which already offers a paid-for service at airports and in selected businesses, has teamed up with Wicoms to offer free Wi-Fi access in shops and cafes across Britain.

The deal is this: Users need only download Skype's Wi-Fi app and sign in on their smartphone in a venue that has signed up to the scheme. In turn they need to pay a monthly fee of £9.99 and buy a £49 router—although the router is being thrown in for free until the end of this month. "We belive Internet access should be available to everyone in a simple and affordable way," said the firm in a statement yesterday. The move is bound to put the frighteners on the existing service providers, who run a near monopoly on Wi-Fi access.