Southampton to become WiFi City22nd August 2013
The go ahead was given this week by the council’s Cabinet to enable Southampton to become a first class Wi-Fi and next generation enabled wireless city.
Southampton is one of the first cities in the south to go ahead with the installation of Wi-Fi technology in busy locations, enabling residents and visitors to access the internet while out and about. The project will start in the city centre, waterfront and key transport corridors, with the potential to extend coverage in the future.
Council-owned structures, such as street lights, will be made available for service provider Arqiva to install the wireless network. Access will be free for a period of 30 minutes each day, with a paid service available after that. This means people will be able to access websites relating to their travel or leisure plans, or their shopping needs, all free of charge.
Cllr Simon Letts, Leader of Southampton City Council, said: “I’m delighted that Southampton is well on the way to becoming a leading digital city with residents and visitors soon able to have free access to the internet in a range of locations. There are a great many potential social and economic benefits to the city in providing such a service, and it aligns with our priority to promote Southampton and attract investment.”
The initial five year contract with Arqiva, which is currently rolling out a similar scheme in Manchester, comes at no cost to the council and will provide a small income.
Work is expected to start on the scheme within the next three months.