News

RAF Association and BT helping to keep serving personnel in touch with their families

(12 July 2015)

Free wi-fi helps Royal Air Forces keep in touch with friends and family.

The Royal Air Forces Association is helping personnel at RAF Waddington to keep in touch with friends and family thanks to the introduction of free wi-fi in communal areas on the station.

This is part of the Association’s work supporting those who are currently serving, which will see the charity offer free wi-fi on all major UK RAF stations in the next two and half years. Before this installation at Waddington, provided by BT, the station had no set internet provider. Everyone was responsible for providing their own internet service.

Apart from RAF Waddington, two stations are already up and running: RAF Shawbury and RAF Wittering.

David Prowse, Director of Membership & Operations at the Association, said: “We react to the changing needs of all members of the RAF family, from those currently serving through to Battle of Britain Spitfire pilots and everyone in between. Being able to communicate via the internet is very important to people today. By offering free wi-fi in communal areas such as HIVEs, station coffee shops and junior ranks messes, the RAF family, as well as contractors, can keep in touch.

“For those working away from home we hope this will help them feel better connected to their loved ones, easing the pain of being apart.”

Gp Capt R P Barrow, Station Commander at RAF Waddington said: “We rely more than ever on digital technology to keep in touch with family and friends; particularly the Armed Forces community who, at times, can spend significant periods away from their loved ones. Thanks to the RAF Association and BT the introduction of free wi-fi to the communal areas on Station will give Service personnel the much welcomed increased flexibility to access a broad range of services not currently freely available to them in a comfortable and sociable environment.”

Bill Holford, Vice President for Global Defence at BT, said: “Today being connected to the internet is essential and something we take for granted. I’m very pleased that we have been able to work with the RAF Association to make this possible for the thousands of servicemen and women living and working at RAF Waddington. Being able to stay in touch with friends and family, sending emails or watching catch-up TV is important to the welfare of our armed forces personnel whether that’s at RAF Waddington or across the UK via one of our five million wi-fi hotspots.”

BT has provided a guest-based subscription service from BT Wi-fi, including a complete overhaul of the onsite infrastructure. This includes new Fibre to all accommodation and public buildings, the installation of new access points and controllers and suitable bandwidth to satisfy the whole station for the next five years.

For further information

Suzanne Masterton
Head of UK PR
BT Global Services
Tel: +44 (0)7764 339239
Suzanne.masterton@bt.com