Free Wi-Fi network goes live in Glasgow

Clyde River, Glasgow

People visiting Glasgow will be able to use free Wi-Fi thanks to a partnership between the city council and BT.

The telco rolled out the wireless infrastructure throughout the city, putting in around 80 wireless access points in and around transport hubs and areas that attract a lot of visitors both in the city centre and in the east end.

Part of the project will be delivered ahead of the Commonwealth Games, which is being held in the city this year. The second phase will be rolled out early next year.

The network will also allow BT to deliver 3G, 4G and other wireless services throughout Glasgow. The telco has the network on a concession basis, meaning that access to the wireless network in the city comes through the lease of council-owned street furniture and property, with the council providing a license to allow a network operator to build a wireless network.

This model means the council does not have to make any investment, with the network being designed, built and operated by BT. Any subsequent support, maintenance, upgrading and monitoring will come at no cost to the council.

The Wi-Fi network will be free to use 24 hours a day for the next eight years. The Urban Wireless network makes Glasgow the first city in Scotland to offer free Wi-Fi in the city's public spaces.

It forms part of Glasgow City Council's Digital Glasgow roadmap, which aims to establish the city as a world-leading digital hub by 2017 and bolster its economic and social regeneration.

Leader of Glasgow City Council Gordon Matheson said: "Today is a special day, when Glasgow becomes the first Scottish city to offer free Wi-Fi, further underlining our status as a place willing to use technology to bring social, educational and economic benefits to our residents and businesses."

Rene Millman

Rene Millman is a freelance writer and broadcaster who covers cybersecurity, AI, IoT, and the cloud. He also works as a contributing analyst at GigaOm and has previously worked as an analyst for Gartner covering the infrastructure market. He has made numerous television appearances to give his views and expertise on technology trends and companies that affect and shape our lives. You can follow Rene Millman on Twitter.