Glasgow has become the first city in Scotland to have a BT Wi-Fi enabled city centre, thanks to a joint initiative between Glasgow Council and BT. The installation of six BT Openzone hotspots will enable citizens to enjoy high-speed internet access via their wireless enabled laptops and Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs). The hotspots are in the central pedestrianised area of the city.
BT Multimedia Solutions is providing this connectivity within a radius of 50 to100 metres of key locations in the city’s main shopping and business district. These include George Square, Queen Street and Sauchiehall Street. The Council is also considering extending wireless internet access to other areas of Glasgow.
This new technology will also be used to improve the flow of communication within the council, by eventually enabling Glasgow Council to connect with its street workers via hand-held devices and a virtual private network (VPN). The Council is already considering the use of this type of technology for Wi-Fi access in Libraries and Art Galleries, internet-based CCTV cameras, bus shelters, and traffic signals.
Bailie Alan Stewart, ICT Spokesperson for the Council, said: “Glasgow is a vibrant city with a bustling retail environment, renowned cultural offering and dynamic business centre. The Council is working with a range of public and private sector agencies in the City to develop a ‘Wireless Glasgow Strategy’ and action plan. By creating a Wi-Fi zone in the city centre, citizens and visitors to Glasgow can access the internet with greater freedom. The scheme heralds an exciting new era for the City, particularly the way in which the council communicates with its mobile workers. Council employees will soon be able to send and receive information via council-issued devices that link into the wireless network.”
Julian Turner, head of Multimedia Solutions at BT, said: “The creation of a wireless network in Glasgow will improve connectivity for businesses in the selected area and serve to create a dynamic environment in which to shop and do business. Thanks to the existing BT payphones infrastructure around Glasgow city centre, BT was able to install hotspots in the best locations to ensure maximum WiFi coverage.”