Free Wi-Fi cures Britain's loneliness

With a smartphone or tablet connected to free Wi-Fi we're much happier being alone in public, a survey has found.

Free Wi-Fi can help people conquer their loneliness, according to new research.

A survey by O2, which operates a UK network of Wi-Fi hotspots, found 53% of Brits would happily sit in a cafe alone so long as it offers wireless broadband - allowing them to connect with friends online or simply browse the internet on their smartphone or tablet.

Six in 10 people surveyed by O2 said they're more comfortable spending time in public on their own now that mobile internet and free Wi-Fi are available round the clock.

Gavin Franks, managing director of O2 WiFi, said: "Gone are the days when you had to twiddle your thumbs or bury your head in a book if you found yourself dining alone.

"Fast, reliable and free Wi-Fi in the places we hang out enables us to spend more time in the venue doing the things we enjoy - be that updating, posting, blogging, booking, buying or even just reading," he added.

The survey also revealed that Brits use Wi-Fi hotspots on average nine times a week, and a quarter of people routinely log on with no specific reason for going online.

Earlier this week, the government announced plans for a porn filter covering public Wi-Fi networks throughout Britain.

Prime Minister David Cameron said a new Code of Conduct would require wireless broadband providers to block all adult content - including gambling websites and pornography - to promote "good, clean Wi-Fi" across the UK.

Click for more about wireless broadband

Suggested Pages

  • How long does it take to boil water in a Wi-Fi kettle?

  • Manchester unveils bus stops with free Wi-Fi and charging points

  • Wireless internet in the UK to be boosted by white space technology

  • Have you ever tried to nick your neighbours’ Wi-Fi? 1 in 3 Brits has!

  • Half of UK schools’ broadband and Wi-Fi fails to make the grade

  • Gadgets and Wi-Fi now essential to UK’s switched-on over-50s

  • Rural broadband to use 'white space'

  • David Cameron to block porn on Wi-Fi

  • Half of Brits use free Wi-Fi when shopping

  • Android tablets bite back at Apple

  • Free Wi-Fi coming to 8 shopping centres

  • O2 offers free Wi-Fi on the Underground

Compare broadband, TV & landline deals