Good timing: Gloucester kicks off free Wi-Fi service for Rugby World Cup
A free public wireless (wi-fi) service is now available in the heart of Gloucester. Part of a pioneering communications project by Gloucester City Council and BT, the project aims to make Gloucester one of the best connected cities in the UK.
‘GloucesterCityWIFI’ enables shoppers, workers, tourists and other visitors to connect to the internet easily and free of charge from their mobile devices and tablets whilst out and about in the city centre. They will be able to surf the net, keep up-to-date with the latest Rugby World Cup news and scores, as well as access information on council services.
It is part of a landmark deal announced in June, which also includes a new state-of-the-art CCTV service and control room, provided by BT Redcare, and improved phone coverage for 4G and other new services.
After planning and surveying, the project team began installing new wireless access points and CCTV cameras to ensure the services were up and running ahead of the start of the Rugby World Cup, in which Gloucester is playing a major role.
Access to GloucesterCityWIFI is free and unlimited to all. It extends from Westgate and Eastgate, along Northgate and Southgate, and into Worcester Street towards Kingsholm Stadium.
Anyone wanting to use it simply goes to the ‘wi-fi’ setting on their device, then ‘choose networks’, where they’ll find the GloucesterCityWIFI welcome page (see attachment). From there they’ll be able to look up information on council services or surf the world wide web.
Signs are being put up on lamp-posts around the city centre to let pedestrians know when they’re within the new free wi-fi zone.
Councillor Jennie Dallimore, cabinet member for communities and neighbourhoods, paid tribute to the city council and BT project teams who pulled out all the stops to have everything in place in time for the start of the Rugby World Cup. She said:
“The launch of ‘GloucesterCityWIFI’ is testament to the hard work of everyone involved to get everything up-and-running in time to welcome thousands of visitors to the city for the Rugby World Cup.
“Our vision is to make this city one of the most connected places in the UK, and it has been great to work with BT on such a unique project. Not only is this project fantastic news for local residents, but it will also benefit local businesses, students, shoppers and people visiting the city. We’re hopeful it will help to put Gloucester on the map.”
Paul Coles, BT’s regional manager for Gloucestershire and the South West, said:
“This is an exciting development for Gloucester at a time when the city will be very much in the Rugby World Cup spotlight. It will enable fans visiting the city centre to check scores and get other news as it breaks.”
Brian Jackson, Head of Sales BT Redcare Surveillance added:
“GloucesterCityWIFI provides people with a reliable and secure way of staying in touch whilst they are working, studying, shopping or socialising in and around the city centre, whilst the latest CCTV technology will help to keep them safe.
“This important project is part of a wider communications revolution that is underway in the county, where the roll-out of high-speed fibre broadband is continuing at a pace. More than 183,000 homes and businesses across Gloucestershire are now able to access the technology that is transforming the way local families, residents, homeworkers and other businesses work, learn, communicate and enjoy their leisure time,” said Paul.