Do you provide public WIFI for your customers?

We all carry our smartphones wherever we go and our laptops and tablets aren’t far away either, particularly during working hours. We all want internet connectivity 24/7.

That demand has seen virtually every pub, restaurant, cafe and hotel install public WIFI for use by their customers. If you are providing public WIFI access for your customers, are you aware of the legal implications of providing the service?


  1. Your Internet Service Provider’s (ISP) terms and conditions

Are you allowed to use the service for public access? If you have a residential service (usually because it is cheaper), you are NOT allowed to offer this to your customers for their use.

  1. Your liabilities

Did you know you may be liable if someone using your WIFI does something illegal?
Unless you have taken all reasonable precautions, you may be liable for damage caused by hacking or malware attacks to your customers’ equipment.

If you have a car park, we bet there is a sign saying “Parking is at your own risk”. We recommend you put up signs in your business to say, basically, the same thing about using the internet connection you are making available. Even better, a clear message on the log in screen, if you use one. Fines have been issued of over £8,000 in the last few years.

  1. Your statutory legal obligations

Did you know there are currently three pieces of legislation you need to be aware of:

  • The Digital Economy Act of 2010;
  • The Data Retention Regulations of 2009; and
  • The Data Protection Act of 1998.

There is likely to be more legislation coming out soon.

This legislation covers the following issues:

  1. Copyright infringement – you need to take steps to prevent access to copyrighted material
  2. Your need to be able to identify users of the public WIFI service you provide
  3. Data protection requirements and the data you keep

Your Solution

The legislation is complex and can be a worry, but we are here to answer any of your questions around providing public WIFI.

If you are currently providing public WIFI, let’s talk and ensure that you are meeting all your obligations.

If you are considering it, let’s make sure that you follow the rules from the beginning.

As a truly independent telecoms broker, we can provide internet connections from every ISP. Let us trawl through their terms and conditions and get the right one for you.

Your Opportunity

Don’t ever suggest we are all doom and gloom here at Equinox…

There is an opportunity here for you as well.

Assuming you do everything correctly, including registering with the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) and you follow the rules under the Data Protection Act (and GDPR as it takes effect in 2018), you can collect and use your customers’ data for your own marketing.  There is nothing wrong with keeping in touch with your customers, as long as you have permission from there to do so!

Get in touch

To find out more about how we can help you call +44 (0) 20 8912 0845 or email us