Newcastle and Gateshead get wired for WiFi hotspots


UK cities Newcastle and Gateshead have secured a blanket of WiFi hotspots that will offer citizens free connections.

The hotspots will be placed by a company called Gowex, which has rolled out similar systems in France, the US and the UAE.

Residents will have to register with Gowex, but will then be able to use free hotspots on both sides of the Tyne. The system is pitched at end users and businesses.

Communications Minister Ed Vaizey said: “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.”

The rollout has been welcolmed locally, and Newcastle City Council leader Nick Forbes expects a “big difference”.

“This investment will put Newcastle and Gateshead in the forefront of UK areas for public WiFi availability,” he said.

“People will be able to connect to the WiFi hotspots around the city and town centre, high streets and public buildings free of charge.

“It means they can check their emails, compare prices, select restaurants, book tickets and access public information on the move.”

Councillor Malcolm Graham, Gateshead’s cabinet member for employment and skills, was equally warm, and highlighted the business benefits.

“Being able to connect quickly and easily to the internet is now such an integral part of business and personal life,” he said.

Gowex is starting the WiFi hotspots rollout now, and expects to complete it by early 2015.

Newcastle signed a deal worth £3.8m with BT last year to roll out superfast broadband services.

29 May 2014 | 11:10 am – Source:

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