The South Bank Centre and The Cloud have launched of one of the UK's largest publicly accessible wireless hotspots at the Royal Festival Hall - but it costs £4.50 an hour.
The wifi internet access service is available both to concertgoers and other visitors to the venue, including students, tourists and people working in the vicinity.
The South Bank Centre also says that it wants local residents to benefit from the service – but at £4.50 an hour it is not a very attractive proposition.
"An increasing number of our visitors now have laptops and other wirelessly enabled devices such as PDAs and mobile phones" says SBC's head of media services Owen Pringle. "By providing them with a way to access the Internet while they are at the Centre we are helping them to get the most out of their visit. The Cloud was an obvious choice for us to partner with as it has the UK's largest wifi network along with proven expertise in deploying WiFi at several other large public sites such as the British Library."
To begin with a wifi hotzone has been deployed in the foyer spaces on Levels 2 and 3 in the RFH. As part of the transformation of the South Bank Centre due to be completed by 2007, the aim is to provide seamless wifi access across the entire 27 acre site.
The wireless Internet service in the Royal Festival Hall is available to visitors with wifi devices, who can either connect using The Cloud's pay-as-you-go service, charged at £4.50 per hour, or pre-purchase larger blocks of time online.