Over 1,000 public buildings across the UK are being transformed into free Wi-Fi hotspots in a multi-million pound government plan to provide better access to all citizens.
The government has set aside part of a £150 million fund to implement the scheme at libraries, civic centres, sporting complexes, transport hubs, museums and various other public buildings.
“The digital landscape of the UK is undergoing a period of tremendous improvement and is all part of the Government’s long term economic plan. For business, visitors and the UK public, accessing Wi-Fi in our cities is absolutely vital. I’m delighted this government scheme is on track,” said digital economy minister Ed Vaizey. “These free hotspots will be instrumental in making UK cities even more attractive as places to not only do business, but to visit as well.”
Among the first cities to benefit from the access are London, Manchester, Brighton & Hove, Aberdeen, Belfast, Birmingham, Cambridge, Cardiff, Derby, Derry, Edinburgh, Leeds/Bradford, Oxford, Perth, Portsmouth and Salford.
It is part of a wider super-connected cities plan that was laid out by the UK government back in 2011 with 22 cities in total benefiting from the implementation of better broadband connections that it hopes will trigger new jobs and investment.
As well as the Broadband Delivery UK funded wireless coverage announced today there is also a previously confirmed voucher scheme that was launched to give money to businesses to implement new broadband connections.
A handful of the hotspots are already up and running with the plan to have all functional by as soon as March 2015 by which time super-connected cities will start to reap the rewards of the new connections.