Belfast could get free wireless internet
A bid to introduce extensive wireless internet in Belfast by 2015 has launched.
Monday, 11 June 2012
The city has already secured £6m funding towards widespread wi-fi provision and ultrafast broadband as part of the Super Connected Cities initiative.
However a further £7.7m is also on the table if it can be demonstrated that there is high demand amongst business and the public sector.
If the bid goes ahead, Belfast City Council is targeting 100% city-wide broadband and a wireless infrastructure in city centre and at "key locations" within in the next three years.
The Lord Mayor encouraged local people to get behind the scheme.
Gavin Robinson of the DUP said: "This is an unprecedented opportunity to place Belfast at the leading edge of technology across Europe and give us the infrastructure to build successful international businesses and attract further foreign direct investment.
"This is not just a Belfast City Council bid - this will benefit the entire city and we all need to declare support urgently as the closing date is just around the corner in July."
Belfast is the only city in Northern Ireland and one of 10 in the UK to successfully bid for funding to become a super-connected city.
The council has also pledged £3m support towards the initiative.
Sinn Féin councillor Deirdre Hargey said: "By 2015 we aim to have citywide access to a network providing high speed ultrafast capacity to meet the demands of creative industries which send large amounts of data.
"Super-connected Belfast also aims to provide 100% broadband coverage across the city and provide a wi-fi infrastructure within the city centre and a transport hubs.
"Most importantly, this transformation will build on the city's growing reputation as a world class place to visit, work, live and invest."