LAMP-posts across Southampton will soon provide free wireless Internet.

The project to install the innovative technology in the city’s street furniture has now begun.

Council chiefs have officially signed off the deal allowing telecommunications firm Arqiva to get to work.

At an event yesterday, Labour council leader Simon Letts and chief executive Dawn Baxendale signed the agreement with Arqiva’s director of Wi-Fi and small cells, Philip Congdon.

The Labour city council Cabinet approved the plans last year.

The city centre will be the area to benefit from the move, alongside other areas which experience high footfall levels, such as the waterfront.

When installed, it means residents and visitors alike will be able to access websites which could help with their travel plans or shopping requirements.

Wi-Fi will be free for the first 30 minutes of use each day, with a charge applying afterwards.

Civic chiefs in Southampton have voted to adopt the plan after seeing Arqiva implement it in Manchester city centre.

Other towns and areas, such as Swindon and Lincolnshire, already have Wi-fi lamp-posts.

The project will not cost the council, and will provide a small income with a 20 per cent share of revenue generated by Arqiva in Southampton going to the authority.

City leisure and economic development chief Matt Tucker said: “This is all about making Wi-Fi more accessible for visitors and residents.

“As soon as people come into the areas with Wi-Fi they can log in and explore the city and interact with various events.

“And if they don’t have phones they can access it on, they can use one of the BT phone boxes which have shot up around the city centre.”