Cardiff Council has teamed up wit BT to launch of a free public wi-fi service covering the city centre’s busiest tourist, leisure and businesses areas.
The first phase will see Queen Street, The Hayes, the High Street and St Mary Street all connected to the new WiFi network which will extended to the Cardiff Bay area in 2014.
It’s estimated that 1.4 million residents and almost 19 million annual visitors will benefit from the scheme.
Initially all users will have free access although a charge may be introduced by the council at a later date. BT says its broadband customers “will always be able to get free, unlimited usage.”
The telecoms giant will manage the WiFI network on behalf of the council in return for exclusive access to lamp posts and other street furniture which will allow it to install new 3G and 4G mobile infrastructure.
BT says it will make its infrastructure available to the UK’s mobile networks
on a wholesale basis.
Cardiff Council’s Cabinet Member for Finance and Economic Development, Russell Goodway, said: “These wireless technologies will add to the ongoing investment in fibre broadband that BT is making across Cardiff and give the city a real competitive edge when it comes to attracting new visitors and businesses.
“This will also significantly improve the speed, reach, strength and reliability of 3G and 4G mobile services offered to mobile and smart device users.”
Steve Haines, MD, Strategic & Business Development, Wholesale added: “We’re extremely proud to be helping Cardiff move to the very forefront of digital connectivity. BT has a proven track record of delivering large-scale, reliable communication services, and the fact Cardiff City Council trusts us to deliver a great service for the city centre is another fantastic endorsement for our people and their expertise.”