Newcastle and Gateshead rollout free Wi-Fi service outdoors, set up by BT

BT has completed the rollout of the outdoor wireless network, benefiting residents of and visitors to Newcastle and Gateshead, providing free Wi-Fi for internet access in the area. This adds to wider availability, but initially it was only available in a number of public buildings. The concession contract awarded to the telecom giant, but at no cost for the councils, is for 10 years. The authorities will receive income from BT as an upfront rental fee, plus an annual rent for use of the street furniture. Depending on a revenue share deal with the operator, the annual income is derived for the council. The operator will not only install the infrastructure but operate the Wi-Fi service under a fully managed service contract and operate for users a 24×7 help desk, through a free service of the 0800 telephone number.

Deputy Leader of Newcastle City Council, Joyce McCarty, said they were happy to complete this next phase of providing Wi-Fi to the residents, visitors and businesses in Newcastle. He pointed out that together with the rollout of the Go Digital Newcastle project, this further investment puts them ahead with a digital infrastructure that is well ahead of many other cities in the world.

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