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Free Outdoor BT WiFi Network Goes Live for Newcastle and Gateshead

Thursday, August 11th, 2016 (2:13 pm) - Score 753

Visitors and residents to central Newcastle and Gateshead in North East England can now benefit from free outdoor WiFi (wireless Internet) access after BT completed the roll-out of their network in the area, which was initially only available inside a number of public buildings.

Eagle eyed readers may recall that the network was originally due to be installed by Spanish firm GOWEX, but they collapsed due to falsified accounts (here) and that created a significant delay for the local authorities, which were left to find a new supplier. BT was officially chosen in March 2015 (here).

Joyce McCarty, Deputy Leader of Newcastle City Council, said:

“We’re delighted that this next phase of providing WiFi to our residents, business people and visitors is now complete. Newcastle can now proudly say that it has joined the super-league of connectivity.

The Go Digital Newcastle project has been rolling out superfast broadband across the city, and together with that, this further investment means we have a digital infrastructure that puts us well ahead of many other cities in the world.”

The concession contract with BT is for 10 years at no cost to the councils, who will receive an initial upfront rental fee and annual rent from BT for the use of its street furniture. The annual income is based on a revenue share with BT. Under the fully managed service contract, BT will install and operate the service and provide a 24/7 support desk for users via a free 0800 telephone number.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
Leave a Comment
3 Responses
  1. FibreFred says:

    Great stuff

    No positive comments , so here’s one 🙂

  2. Jamie says:

    Very good! Was out in the toon yesterday and was canny good like! Easy to log in and get browsing. Got 7mb download and 1mb up, so ADSL speeds. Good coverage as well. http://www.speedtest.net/my-result/i/1738973003

    1. Henry says:

      That is impressive, though perhaps speeds may change if more people use it simultaneously

      It makes me wonder why BT or Openreach do not take this approach in other urban areas where they have fibre but are not fully covering the area with FTTC, and where ASDL speeds are significantly slower than 7down/1up (e.g. most of Rotherhithe)

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