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Birmingham City Council partners with Virgin to offer free public WiFi

Antony Savvas | Nov. 12, 2013
England's second biggest city wants to become one of the best connected

Birmingham City Council and Virgin Media Business have launched free public WiFi across the city centre, giving residents, shoppers and tourists access to unlimited data services on the go.

Access points - roughly the size of a shoe-box - have been mounted on lamp-posts and other street furniture across the city centre and connected back into Virgin Media Business' nationwide fibre optic network, to ensure unlimited "super-fast connectivity".

Residents and visitors in the busiest parts of the city centre will be the first to benefit from the new service, which is currently available around Victoria Square and Moor Street.

Further access points are already being deployed across Navigation Street, High Street, Broad Street, Bennetts Hill and the area around the cathedral, with completion set for the coming weeks.

Councillor James McKay, cabinet member for a green, safe and smart city at Birmingham City Council, said: "This announcement builds on our connectivity plans for the city which aim to ensure that our citizens and businesses have access to the highest quality and affordable internet services, and establishes Birmingham as the best connected city in the UK."

The free WiFi service is operated for Virgin Media Business by its partner Global Reach Technology. The new small cell hosting service will enable UK mobile operators to "supercharge" their existing wireless networks, said Virgin, by giving them the flexibility to add extra capacity into their mobile networks.

Leeds city centre has similar small cell Virgin WiFi connectivity in parts of its shopping district.

 

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