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Free Wi-Fi across the city thanks to groundbreaking partnership

Press release issued: 14 November 2011

A massive expansion of the city’s free Wi-Fi hotspots has been announced thanks to a collaboration between the University of Bristol and the City Council.

The University’s 600 hotspots, previously accessible to just staff and students, will be available to everyone from the end of November as part of the council’s B-Open network.

The B-Open network already allows access to over 50 free Wi-Fi hotspots in libraries, care homes and public areas such as St Nicholas Market and parts of Ashton Court.

This expanded network will be of particular benefit to visitors and people in Bristol who wish to go online in the University’s gardens and coffee shops, or while attending public events.

Nick Skelton, Assistant Director of IT at Bristol University, said: "This is a really positive step forward for both the city of Bristol and the University. Visitors to the University, many of which come to our free public events, will now be able to access the internet quickly and easily.

"This exciting initiative supports our ongoing commitment to making our buildings and work accessible to the public. It will be an added bonus to our students too, who can remain logged onto the University's wireless network when working elsewhere in the city, in the council's libraries and other public spaces."

The announcement was made ahead of a major international broadband technology conference that is taking place in Bristol this week. The Next Gen conference is expected to attract leading industry figures and companies, and is being sponsored by the city council.

Council Leader Barbara Janke said: “Our collaboration with the University of Bristol will mean a massive boost to our efforts to make the internet accessible for everyone who wants to use it.

“The Wi-Fi hotspots rolled out so far by the council have been very well received and these additional 600 sites in and around the university will make a big difference.

“This announcement sends out a very clear signal to the broadband industry visiting Bristol this week for the Next Gen conference that we have a very ambitious digital agenda.”

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