VIsitors to Edinburgh city centre are to get free wi-fi thanks to Harrogate-based firm intechnologyWiFi.
The City of Edinburgh Council has signed a 10-year contract with the company, which aims to provide residents and visitors with access to free, high-speed internet, 24/7.
Edinburgh is the UK’s second most-visited city after London, attracting millions to its historic and cultural centre each year through its world-renowned summer festivals.
IntechnologyWiFi, which recently agreed a major deal with The Football League to provide stadium wi-fi connectivity and mobile applications to clubs across its portfolio, is installing and operating the network at no cost to the council.
Users of the service will benefit from savings to their mobile data plans by being able to access the internet at no cost while on the go, without restrictions on time.
The announcement comes as new online research from YouGov has revealed that nearly half (43 per cent) of Britons are frustrated by the lack of free, public networks across the UK, while one in four people (24 per cent) would be more likely to stay longer in a town or city centre with access to free wi-fi.
It is hoped the Edinburgh network could drive greater footfall in the city centre, supporting the high street and local economy, while making it easier for tourists to access city information such as attractions, places to eat and directions.
IntechnologyWiFi has been granted exclusive use of the council’s street furniture and properties to install the state-of-the-art equipment required to provide seamless, easy-to-access coverage to users – which is a distinct improvement on traditional ‘hotspot’ networks, which usually provides connectivity in a very small or specific area.