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Free Outdoor BT WiFi Network Goes Live for Newcastle and Gateshead

Thursday, Aug 11th, 2016 (2:13 pm) - Score 777

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.

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 X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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