Newcastle and Gateshead to install free Wi-Fi in public areas

Newcastle and Gateshead are set to become two of the hottest spots in the UK after striking a deal to install free Wi-Fi in scores of public areas.

The Wi-Fi hotspots will be provided by GOWEX, which has already created wireless ‘smart cities’ in places like San Francisco, New York, Miami, Dubai and Paris.

Residents and visitors registering with GOWEX for the service will be able to connect to free Wi-Fi on both sides of the river, at any time of the day.

Leader of Newcastle City Council Cllr Nick Forbes said: “As superfast broadband rolls out across Newcastle, it will make a big difference to businesses and residents who sign up for it.

“But these days, it’s important for people to have access to broadband while they’re on the move too – this investment will put Newcastle and Gateshead in the forefront of UK areas for public Wi-Fi availability.

“People will be able to connect to the Wi-Fi hotspots around 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.”

Under the contract, GOWEX will be installing a large number of connection hotspots, beginning this summer and finishing by the start of 2015 

The project – which received Government funding from Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) – is part of the Go Digital Newcastle initiative, which is bringing superfast broadband to 97 per cent of the city by summer 2015.

Go Digital Newcastle is a government scheme delivered by Newcastle City Council and is designed to boost the local economy. Small and medium businesses can apply for free vouchers worth up to £3,000 towards the cost of getting their businesses connected to superfast broadband. 

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