Brighton & Hove and BT launch free city centre Wi-fi network
Brighton & Hove City Council and BT have joined forces to make free wi-fi available at a range of locations across the city centre. The new outdoor network will cover the busiest areas for tourism, shopping and leisure, providing free wi-fi for local residents, hundreds of businesses, and the 11.5 million people who visit the city each year.
A total of 40 BT Wi-fi hotspots will be available on completion of the project, allowing visitors and residents to get online while ‘on the go’ through their smart phones, tablets and laptops. Thirty of the wi-fi access points are now live, with the remaining ten due to be switched on later in the summer.
The ‘BrightonHovefreewifi’ network will come at no cost to the council. In return, BT will get access to some of the city’s lamp posts and other street furniture allowing the company to install new mobile infrastructure.
The service will cover a large proportion of the city centre, including parts of Western Road, Queens Road, West Street, North Laine, London Road, St James’s Street and the seafront between Brighton Pier and the Hilton Metropole Hotel, as well as in front of Hove Town Hall on Church Road and at the top of George Street in Hove.
People within range of the network will be able to tap into free wi-fi following a simple on-off log in. They will then be taken automatically to a landing page with links to the council website and VisitBrighton.com, the city’s main resource for visitor information.
The council has chosen BT to build and manage the network for ten years. Access to the Brighton & Hove wi-fi service will be free and unlimited to all. The new service is part of the more than 5 million BT Wi-fi hotspots already operating in locations across the UK including major cities such as Cardiff, Carlisle, Glasgow and Plymouth.
Councillor Caroline Penn, the city council’s lead member for ICT, said: “BT already operates the largest wi-fi network in the UK and it is great news that even more people will be able to use the technology thanks to this collaborative project. The scheme will mean free and unlimited wi-fi for everyone when they’re out and about in the city centre within range of one of the new hubs.
“This builds on other work the council is doing to encourage more people to get online, including free wi-fi in public buildings and computer courses and training sessions in our libraries.”
Erik Raphael, director for BT devices and BT Wi-fi, said: “The project makes Brighton & Hove the first city centre in the South East to have a free BT Wi-fi network and will make a big contribution to the connectivity of the city. Knowing Brighton & Hove’s reputation as a vibrant digital hub, I’m sure the new network will prove to be very popular and extremely well used.”
For more information, please visit www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/bhfreewifi