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Free unlimited wi-fi in Brighton and Hove will get 'more people online'

Tuesday, April 19th 2016 by Ellen Branagh

Visitors to Brighton and Hove will be able to get online for free in city centre thanks to a new outdoor wi-fi network.

The new network, provided by Brighton & Hove City Council and BT, will cover the busiest areas for tourism, shopping and leisure, giving free wi-fi for residents and businesses and the 11.5m annual visitors to the city.

30 of the project’s 40 wi-fi hotspots are already live, with the remaining 10 set to be switched on later in the summer, allowing people to get online through their smartphones, tablets and laptops.

The service, which will be free and unlimited to everyone, will cover a large part of the city centre.

That includes parts of Western Road, Queens Road, West Street, North Laine, London Road, St James’s Street and the seafront between Brighton Pier and the Hilton Metropole Hotel, as well as in front of Hove Town Hall on Church Road and at the top of George Street in Hove.

BT will build and manage the ‘BrightonHovefreewifi’ network, which will come at no cost to the council, for 10 years.

In return, BT will get access to some of the city’s lamp posts and other street furniture allowing it to install new mobile infrastructure.

Councillor Caroline Penn, the city council’s lead member for ICT, said: “BT already operates the largest wi-fi network in the UK and it is great news that even more people will be able to use the technology thanks to this collaborative project.

'Out and about'

"The scheme will mean free and unlimited wi-fi for everyone when they’re out and about in the city centre within range of one of the new hubs.

“This builds on other work the council is doing to encourage more people to get online, including free wi-fi in public buildings and computer courses and training sessions in our libraries.”

The new service is part of more than 5m BT wi-fi hotspots already operating across the UK including cities such as Cardiff, Carlisle, Glasgow and Plymouth.

Erik Raphael, director for BT devices and BT wi-fi, said: “The project makes Brighton & Hove the first city centre in the south east to have a free BT wi-fi network and will make a big contribution to the connectivity of the city.

“Knowing Brighton & Hove’s reputation as a vibrant digital hub, I’m sure the new network will prove to be very popular and extremely well used.”

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