BT and Nottingham City Council today announced they are joining forces to make free wi-fi available across much of the city centre.

The new outdoor network will cover the busiest areas for tourism, shopping and leisure, making free wi-fi available to more than 310,000 residents, hundreds of businesses and the 10.7 million people who visit the city in a typical year.

There will be 41 BT Wi-fi hotspots available throughout Nottingham city centre enabling visitors and residents to get online while ‘on the go’ through their smart phones, tablets and laptops. Work will take place in a number of phases, with the service starting to become available in early summer.

Councillor Nick McDonald, Nottingham City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Jobs and Growth said: “We’re really pleased to have signed this major agreement with BT to bring free and unlimited wi-fi to everyone when they’re out and about in the city centre.

“It’s a great deal for the city and BT. The free wi-fi will come at no cost to the council or tax payers and in return, BT will get access to some of Nottingham’s lamp posts and other street furniture, allowing the company to install new mobile infrastructure. In fact, for the people of Nottingham, the ability to check websites and social media without having to use smart phone data allowances could actually save people money.”

Owen Moody, BT East Midlands regional director, said: “This exciting project will make Nottingham the first city centre in the East Midlands to have a BT Wi-fi network like this freely available. BT already operates the largest wi-fi network in the UK and it is great news that even more people will be able to benefit from the technology thanks to our agreement with Nottingham.”

Nottingham City Council has chosen BT to build and manage the network for 10 years – forming part of the Super Connected Cities Project.

BT has already introduced wi-fi into a number of city centres across the UK including Cardiff, Carlisle, Glasgow and Plymouth.

Access to the Nottingham City Council wi-fi service will be free and unlimited to all. The new service is part of more than 5 million BT hotspots already operating across the UK.

People within range of the wi-fi network will be able to tap into free wi-fi following a simple on-off log in. They will then be taken automatically to a landing page which will have links to key useful sites for visitors, residents and businesses.

The new wi-fi service will cover a large proportion of the city centre, including the Market Square, main shopping and leisure areas and the Creative Quarter.

Andrew Johnson, BT Global Services regional sales director, said: “I’m sure the new network will prove to be very popular and extremely well used. This project will make a big contribution to the connectivity of Nottingham, providing a major network of free BT Wi-fi hotspots. First class wireless communications, such as free wi-fi, will play a vital role in the future success and prosperity of Nottingham.”

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