Free public WiFi hotspots are to be installed across the city centre of Cardiff by BT.
The UK’s biggest ISP has won a contract from Cardiff Council which will see hotspots, providing free access to unlimited WiFi, installed in Queen Street, The Hayes, the High Street and St Mary Street as well as Gorsedd Gardens Road, covering the area around the City Hall.
Following this initial phase, more hotspots will be set up in the Cardiff Bay area. The whole project is due to be finished by Spring 2014.
Managing director for strategic and business development at BT Wholesale Steve Haines said: “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.”
As well as providing citizens with free unlimited WiFi, BT says that its infrastructure will be made available to mobile networks who want to extend their 3G and 4G coverage throughout the city. Virgin Media, which recently finished its rollout of free WiFi in Birmingham, has also invited mobile providers to make use of its backhaul.
BT was chosen by Cardiff Council as part of the Super Connected Cities programme. The fund has been set up by the UK government to provide councils with money for public WiFi and to fund a voucher scheme for local businesses who want superfast broadband installed.
A total of 22 UK cities, including the four regional captial cities, are part of the Super Connected Cities scheme.
Image: Ben Salter/Flickr