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30 October 2014, 06:11
More than 45 public buildings in Portsmouth will be transformed into free wi-fi hotspots.
As part of the Government's plans to see over 1000 public buildings in cities across the UK offering free wi-fi, residents and visitors in Portsmouth will be able to connect at locations such as the International Ferry Port and the City's many local museums, including the Charles Dickens Birthplace Museum. These buildings will join the Somerstown hub, which is already providing free wi-fi.
The programme is part of an £150m investment to transform the digital capability of UK cities, making them even more attractive places to live, do business, visit and invest in. Millions and millions of visitors, citizens and business men and women can take advantage of this huge boost to free connectivity in the UK.
Stewart Dunn, Chief Executive of Hampshire Chamber of Commerce said:
"Hampshire Chamber of Commerce welcomes the free wi-fi hot spots initiative in public buildings to connect cities for business across the UK and in particular Portsmouth. The requirement for those in business to keep connectivity with their clients and colleagues is essential in keeping up productivity.
"It remains however that ultra fast broadband roll out to business premises must remain a priority if the UK is to remain serious and competitive in business today."
Kevin Briscoe, Chairman of the Portsmouth Area Committee of Hampshire Chamber of Commerce, added:
"We welcome this announcement today. The need for businesses and their customers to stay connected while on the move is essential and the creation of these free wifi hotspots throughout Portsmouth will enable that. Our ambition to see Portsmouth as a super-connected city which will attract new business is a step further forward with this announcement."
Over the coming months, libraries, museums, civic centres, transport hubs, sporting complexes and other buildings around the UK will begin to offer free wi-fi - some have already gone live, and the remainder are all on track to be up and running as soon as March 2015.
Demonstrating the ongoing transformation of the UK's digital landscape, this project will ensure our cities boast world-class connectivity and are equipped to deal with the increasing demands of the digital age.
Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey said:
"The digital landscape of the UK is undergoing a period of tremendous improvement which is all part of the Government's long term economic plan. For business, visitors and the UK public, accessing wi-fi in our cities is absolutely vital. I'm delighted this Government scheme is on track. These free hotspots will be instrumental in making UK cities even more attractive as places to not only do business, but to visit as well."