Cardiff council working with BT to bring free wi-fi to the city centre

BT also given freedom to upgrade Cardiff’s 3G and 4G mobile infrastructure 
Cardiff Council today announced the launch of a free public wi-fi service across the heart of its city centre. 

The new outdoor network will initially cover the busiest areas for tourism, commerce and leisure in the heart of the city centre, bringing free wi-fi to more than 1.4 million residents, hundreds of businesses and almost 19 million annual visitors across the city. It will later be extended to include the Cardiff Bay area in 2014. 

Initially, access to the Cardiff Council wi-fi service will be free and unlimited to all, whilst BT Broadband customers will always be able to get free, unlimited usage. 

Cardiff Council has chosen BT to build and manage the network for ten years - forming part of the Super Connected Cities Project. In return, BT will gain exclusive access to Cardiff’s lamp posts and other street furniture, allowing the company to install new mobile infrastructure. 

BT will make the 3G and 4G infrastructure available to mobile operators on a wholesale basis, which could significantly improve the availability, speed, reach and strength of 3G and 4G mobile services that BT’s mobile operator customers can offer across the city. 

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 said: 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.” 

Once completed, the new wi-fi service will cover a large proportion of the city centre, with phase one connecting Queen Street, The Hayes, the High Street and St Mary Street. There will also be hotspots along Gorsedd Gardens Road covering the area around City Hall, whilst in phase two, BT will extend coverage to the Cardiff Bay area - another major centre for tourism and commerce in the city. This should be live by Spring 2014. 

Enquiries about this news release should be made to Cardiff Council Press Office on 029 2087 2451 or via mediabrief@cardiff.gov.uk 

Alternatively contact the BT Group Newsroom on its 24-hour number: 020 7356 5369. From outside the UK dial + 44 20 7356 5369. E-mail: newsroom@bt.com 

All news releases can be accessed at our web site: http://www.bt.com/newscentre 

Notes to editors 

About BT 

BT is one of the world’s leading providers of communications services and solutions, serving customers in more than 170 countries. Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to its customers for use at home, at work and on the move; broadband and internet products and services and converged fixed/mobile products and services. BT consists principally of four lines of business: BT Global Services, BT Retail, BT Wholesale and Openreach. 

For the year ended 31 March 2013, BT Group’s reported revenue was £18,103m with reported profit before taxation of £2,315m. 

British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York. 

For more information, visit www.btplc.com