Newcastle and Gateshead will get free public WiFi when they’re out and about on the Toon in 2015.
Spanish firm Gowex will start installing the Newcastle and Gateshead WiFi hotspots this summer and hopes to be finished by the start of next year.
Users will need to register with Gowex using a free app which will also give them access to its free WiFi in cities including San Francisco, New York, Miami, Dubai and Paris.
Leader of Newcastle City Council Nick Forbes said, “As superfast broadband rolls out across Newcastle, it will make a big difference to businesses and residents who sign up for it. But these days, it’s important for people to have access to broadband while they’re on the move too. This investment will put Newcastle and Gateshead in the forefront of UK areas for public WiFi availability.”
The project – which received Government funding from Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) – is part of the Go Digital Newcastle initiative, which is bringing superfast broadband to 97 per cent of the city by summer 2015.
Councillor Malcolm Graham, Gateshead Council’s Cabinet Member for Employment and Skills, said, “Being able to connect quickly and easily to the Internet is now such an integral part of business and personal life. This scheme, offering free WiFi in key public areas, confirms our commitment to being at the forefront of the digital revolution.”
Small and medium businesses can apply for free vouchers worth up to £3,000 towards the cost of getting their businesses connected to superfast broadband.
Government Communications Minister Ed Vaizey added, “With demand for WiFi skyrocketing, this is tremendous news for Newcastle, one of our 22 Super-Connected cities.
“The funding that Government has made available to Newcastle will see free WiFi spots pop up in public areas across the city, allowing everyone access to broadband while on the move, and is all part of the remarkable transformation of connectivity currently underway.”