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Broadband-friendly Aberdeen to roll out free public WiFi

Aberdeen City Council is set to invest around £600,000 to install free public WiFi in its public buildings.

It will make grants for the scheme available through the Accelerate Aberdeen Super Connected Cities programme. Half the money will go on wireless infrastructure and the other on boosting network connectivity.

“Aberdeen is a city of international significance and the commercial hub that drives the regional economy of north-east Scotland,” said a report issued to Public Contracts Scotland.

Broadband-friendly Aberdeen to roll out free public WiFi
Aberdeen has a very high rate of broadband take-up

“Demand for digital connectivity is being driven by economic growth and a vibrant commercial and residential sector.”

The council is looking to select a firm to design, deploy and operate the wireless network service across its buildings, which will serve both council workers and the public nearby.

The scheme is also intended to help those without internet access get online, particularly vulnerable groups who can be excluded from online activity such as the elderly, unemployed, disabled and homeless.

The council is funding the investment with part of its share of the Scottish Government’s £50 million Super Connected Cities Funding. Part of this is being used to fund superfast broadband in rural parts of Aberdeenshire.

The city has one of the highest take up rates of broadband, at around 74 per cent. It is hoped that the scheme will increase speeds in the area up to between 40Mbps and 100Mbps.

Image: Geograph/Colin Smith

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