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Safe public Wi-Fi for kids on Shoreham Beach?

Updated: Feb 28, 2020

"Shoreham Beach will strive to be a safe public wi-fi zone” Would you support this objective? Through the Neighbourhood Plan, there is an opportunity for Shoreham Beach to become a safe place for kids to browse the internet. This could be achieved through a new Public WiFi safety initiative.

Friendly Wi-fi is the world’s first standard in public Wi-Fi safety - a government initiated certification scheme to shield young people from pornography, images and videos of child sexual abuse.

How would it be implemented in public places?

Public places can display the 'Friendly WiFi symbol' to show their customers that their public WiFi is properly filtered. On the beach there are few places but it would soon spread to the local retailers, cafes, pubs, gyms, B&Bs, libraries, hotels, etc. It is good for business because it shows customers that you are a leader in the quest and journey to keep children and young people safe online. SBNF have been gathering the support of local schools and young people via the survey for young people. Getting certified is easy. The cost to business is currently £27.91/yr.

Could this be a policy?

"New developments with public Wi-Fi will be required to join the Friendly WiFi scheme. Existing businesses will pledge to join the scheme."

"Internet Safety in the Public Realm" could be a supplementary policy in Part 2 of the Neighbourhood Plan. This section is envisaged as an advocacy document which can be used by Forum, SBRA, other neighbourhood organisations and ward councillors when they are proposing, supporting or objecting to actions by public or private organisations on the Beach.

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What do you think? Would you support this policy? Please comment below or send us an email or join the community facilities group.

Why it is necessary At least 65% of 12-15 yr olds have smartphones. Rising to 80% of 15 yr olds. They often use public wi-fi hotspots to get online, potentially accessing harmful content. Young people tend to share connections, so even if you think you have blocked this kind of content from your child’s phone, they could still access it via their friends.

teen smartphone ownership chart uk 2014

Anecdotal evidence Child psychiatrists and psychotherapists are reporting “an explosion in numbers in mental health problems amongst youngsters…. they can now access the internet without adult supervision in parks, on street, wherever they are, and then they can go anywhere. So there are difficult chat rooms, self-harming websites, anorexia websites, pornography, and a whole invisible world of dark places. In real life, we travel with our children. When they are connected via their smartphone to the web, they usually travel alone”.



  • 87% of 13-16 yr olds have deleted the record of which sites they’ve visited.

  • 47% of 9-12 yr old smartphone users know how to change privacy settings on a social networking profile.

  • 62% of parents of 12-15 yr olds feel they know less about the internet and social media than their children.

Domestic Hotspots

Home routers are also increasingly being used to broadcast a public Wi-Fi signal. It is estimated that at least 1 in 3 home broadband routers are used as WiFi hotspots, for example, BT-FON and Virgin's app-based service. Access via these apps is subject to the same same parental controls and filters that would apply in the user's own home.... but that may not always be the case with other providers. Could there be some kind of 'citizen's pledge' to ensure domestic hotspots are also filtered?

What do you think? Would you support this objective? Take the survey for young people / comment below or send us an email. If you would like to get more involved - join the community facilities group.

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