£150m Boost For Public Wifi

30 October 2014, 05:00

Public buildings such as galleries and libraries in three Scottish cities are to offer free public wi-fi as part of a £150 million investment programme.

About 75 locations in Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Perth will be among 1,000 public buildings in cities across the UK to become wi-fi hotspots.

The rollout is part of the UK Government's £150 million investment programme which aims to transform the digital capability of cities.

Some of the hotspots have already gone live while the rest are all on track to be up and running by March 2015.

Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael said: "Whether you live in one of our major cities or in one of our most remote communities, the UK Government is working to ensure that Scotland is at the heart of the UK's digital transformation.

"Wi-fi is a prime example of cutting-edge technology that has increasingly become an essential part of everyday life.

"Today's announcement brings this transformation into the heart of Scottish cities and some of the country's most recognisable locations.

"This announcement together with our ongoing work to bring superfast broadband to rural locations across the country represents substantial investment by the UK Government and is great news for Scottish businesses, families and communities."

The buildings likely to offer free wi-fi include the National Museum of Scotland, the Scottish National Gallery and the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh, and Central Library and Marischal College in Aberdeen.

In Perth the Fergusson Gallery, Perth Museum and Art Gallery and Bell's Sport Centre are among those on the list.

The proposed locations are subject to change and relevant planning permissions being obtained.

Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey said: "The digital landscape of the UK is undergoing a period of tremendous improvement and 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."