City-wide wi-fi for Newcastle

More than 3.7 million people visit Newcastle’s public buildings every year. With the growing need to be online, the council set up the Go Digital project — their answer to keeping Newcastle connected. As part of the plan, BT are installing wi-fi over a two-phase process. Soon people across the city will be able to get online securely, quickly and for free.

Newcastle’s needs

  • Fast, free and reliable wi-fi service available to all
  • Secure, family-friendly connection
  • Accessibility indoors and out, including main pedestrian spaces and in public buildings

BT Wi-fi’s solution

  • No time limit on connection, with login-free access
  • Block on inappropriate content
  • Outdoor wi-fi set up using a mix of BT telephone kiosks, lampposts and CCTV columns
  • BT operate the service and run a Freephone 24/7 support desk

We all lead busy lives and whether we want to check emails, book transport or get in touch with friends, there’s an ever-increasing need to be online. Newcastle Council recognised this and made internet access a priority. They introduced the Go Digital programme, initially with superfast broadband across the city, and now the council are working with BT provide public spaces with fast, free wi-fi — and the first phase is already completed.

Millions of people visit Newcastle’s museums, libraries and civic buildings each year, and even more shop in the city centre; this footfall makes these spaces prime connectivity spots. It’s estimated that by 2018 there will be 1.4 smart devices per person worldwide* and they’ll all want wi-fi at their fingertips.

‘‘Increasingly we have a need and desire to be constantly connected to the online world. Now, in Newcastle, it will be easy and cost free to arrange or check travel plans via an app or website, tweet pictures of the latest exhibition at the Great North Museum, pay rent or a bill online or even to just check a map as you explore the City.’’ Simon Roberson, BT’s regional partnership director for the N. East

BT Wi-fi have a five-year contract with Newcastle Council, funded by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport as part of the Government’s national wi-fi programme. We’re providing a fully managed network, installing and operating the service — and there’s a 24/7 Freephone support desk.

‘‘BT has a strong track record in delivering public wi-fi, with over five million hotspots across the UK, carrying more wi-fi traffic than any other provider.’’ Joyce McCarty, Councillor

Whether living, working, shopping or visiting the city, getting online has never been easier. With BT Wi-fi’s installation people can connect to GoDigital_WiFi for free, simply by accepting the T&Cs — once okayed smart devices will automatically connect every time thereafter.

‘‘This free-to-access public wi-fi service, alongside the other elements of the Go Digital Newcastle programme, is working to ensure that residents, businesses and visitors are able to access wi-fi in a choice of locations so they are not disadvantaged by these changes, and are able to get the best out of our increasingly digital world.’’ Joyce McCarty

This future-forward partnership with BT Wi-fi has put Newcastle on the digital map and shows just how tuned in the council are to its people’s and visitor’s needs.

‘‘Newcastle will have a digital infrastructure that will be the envy of many cities across the world.’’ Joyce McCarty

* Go Digital Newcastle, October 2015