PARTNERSHIP BRINGS FREE WI-FI TO COMMUNITY FACILITIES IN GLASGOW
As Glasgow’s Urban Wi-Fi
network is rolled out across the city, community facilities and public halls
are to enjoy free wi-fi access thanks to a partnership between Glasgow City
Council, BT and Glasgow Life. Installation is almost complete at 31 locations, while
Council Family partners City Building will provide tablets and other hardware,
so people who don’t have a suitable device can still make use of the service.
free Wi-Fi is open for everyone to use on a drop-in basis with venues
indentifying areas where users can browse the net. Staff at the venues are also
being trained to help people access the Wi-Fi.
Glasgow's Urban Wireless network was introduced through a
partnership between Glasgow City Council and BT. There is free 24-hour access
to the network for the duration of the contract, a minimum of eight years. BT
is supporting the free Wi-Fi at community facilities around the city and has
been working with Glasgow Life to identify online resources that will help
support digitally excluded people to get connected for the first time.
network has proved so popular in Glasgow
that at one point - 1pm on 31 July - more than 1600 devices were connected to
the network. BT is delivering the Wi-fi infrastructure, with wireless access
points installed around high footfall areas and transport hubs around the city
centre, parts of the East End and community hubs across Glasgow.
using the service will be able to use their phones, laptops or tablets to stay
in touch with friends and family through social media, catch up on the latest
news or learn new skills. Hardware is also being made available for use by
those who don’t have Wi-Fi enabled equipment of their own.
project will also provide opportunities for those not engaged in digital
technology, with training and support on how to get connected. Glasgow Life already
offers a Getting Started digital skills programme and Goal for Work training,
aimed at those most likely to be affected by changes to the benefits system as
a result of the UK Government’s Welfare Reform programme.
Museums’ collection and archives held at the Mitchell Library are also online
allowing people to research the treasures owned by the City of Glasgow or to research their own family
Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “As more and more business
and information moves online, so the need to improve access to the internet
grows. This partnership brings new opportunity to the people who need it most,
in their own communities and removes even more barriers to people accessing
vital support and services. This is an outstanding example of business working
together with the council to improve the lives of the people of Glasgow.”
Robertson has completed 2 of the courses run by Glasgow Life which help people
to get online. Marion Robertson said: “I’d retired and didn’t have a lot of
computer skills which I thought would be useful when I became a volunteer
fundraiser for Chest, Heart and Stroke Scotland. I signed up for classes in my local library
and am about to start my third course. It really helped that I could go to a
place that was local, familiar and easily accessible to learn.”
Glasgow Life managed facilities including Kelvingrove
and Museum, Riverside
Museum and seven
libraries including the Mitchell, Drumchapel and Shettleston are also providing
customers with free Wi-Fi.
Louise Humphrey, head of
public affairs for BT Scotland, said: “We’re proud to be working with Glasgow
City Council to connect people digitally and help them build a better future. Glasgow is leading the
way in its ambition to make sure all citizens and visitors can reap the
benefits of the internet, wherever in the city they are. At BT, we believe in
the power of communication to transform people’s quality of life. Our
partnership with GCC and Glasgow Life will help people gain the skills and
confidence they need to join the online community.
“The 31 community centres
involved in this project play a vital role in making this happen, helping
people to take advantage of all the services the internet offers, regardless of
their age or background. We applaud the 60 community centre staff who came
along to a digital participation training session at our Glasgow HQ and
are now set to share their skills to help others get online.”
Councillor Paul Carey, Chair of City
Building LLP said: “We are very proud to
support this innovative partnership to help make free Wi-Fi available for Glasgow citizens. By
delivering these services in community facilities across the city we hope this
will encourage people to get online that otherwise wouldn’t be able to.
participation in this initiative continues to demonstrate the investment City
Building makes in the
communities which it operates.”