Free Wi-Fi to be rolled out across Leeds

A digital and telecommunications company in Leeds, aql, has been contracted by Leeds City Council to implement free Wi-Fi across the city to provide greater connectivity for residents.

The exact areas of the city for which the new Wi-Fi will be rolled out has yet to be announced but will target areas which currently have poor internet connectivity or where residents cannot afford their current internet subscription fees.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council’s executive member for digital and creative technologies, culture and skills, said: “Our ambition is for Leeds to be a modern, digitally-focussed city where residents are fully equipped to take advantage of all the opportunities that the internet provides.

In order for us to achieve that, it’s absolutely crucial that as many residents as possible are able to access the internet, no matter where in the city they live.

This new contract will hopefully go some way to helping bridge the ‘digital divide’ by potentially focussing on some of the areas of deprivation and current poor connectivity.

As the world becomes increasingly dependent on the internet it is vital we do all we can to ensure everyone in our city has access to the benefits the internet can provide.

This new contract will allow even more residents to access a free Wi-Fi connection.”

Dr Adam Beaumont, CEO of aql added: “Over the last decade, aql put Leeds on the ‘internet map’ and our datacentres are home to the main internet hubs for the region.

We’re keen to roll out high speed internet access to areas of most need.”

The contract with aql follows progress by Leeds City Council which has installed Wi-Fi in over 100 council buildings such as libraries, museums and leisure centres as part of the Super Connected Cities programme.

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