SCOTLAND SOARS CLOSE TO 320,000 BT WI-FI HOTSPOTS
Extra coverage welcomed by Scottish Chambers of Commerce
Wi-Fi users in Scotland can now take advantage of nearly 320,000 Wi-Fi hotspots – almost three times the number of less than two years ago, BT announced today.
The rapidly expanding BT network, the largest in the UK, now has more than three million UK hotspots in homes, independent businesses and city centres. There are nearly 26,000 hotspots in Glasgow, 20,000 in Edinburgh, 16,700 in Aberdeen and 26,700 across the Highlands.
Access is free to more than five million BT Broadband customers, plus users of iPads, iPhones, iTouch, Android, Samsung and Blackberry devices and smartphones through other BT partnership agreements.
BT's rapid hotspot growth mirrors the rise in the use of smartphones which are quickly catching up with laptops and PCs around the world as the consumer's Wi-Fi device of choice *.
Brendan Dick, BT Scotland director, said: "BT is already leading the charge in broadband services with the roll out of faster speeds across Scotland, and the rapid growth of Wi-Fi hot-spots increases the ways consumers and businesses can get online.
"This is fantastic news for Scotland and another example of major investment by BT in the country's communications network. This huge growth in the number of hotspots takes flexible working from the home to wherever you need to be and brings the internet right to your fingertips.
"Consumers are using their devices for both work and leisure with hotspots making it possible to shop, game and enjoy a variety of applications when out and about."
"For small businesses across the nation, Wi-Fi is a great low or no-cost way of working remotely, staying in touch with customers, suppliers and staff and accessing real time travel information quickly, from any wireless PC, tablet or smartphone."
Liz Cameron, Chief Executive of Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said: "Public Wi-Fi provides crucial support for businesses across Scotland and particularly for our smaller companies. It is an asset whether you are a business person, student, shopper or a visitor to one of our cities – people increasingly expect to be able to get online, wherever they are and whatever their purpose.
"It is vitally important to our tourist sector as visitors increasingly use mobile devices to access information about local businesses and attractions. The extra coverage now in place will also be a positive growth enabler for Scottish firms and is something we very much welcome."
Last year BT announced a new free mobile application that helps connect BT home broadband customers with an iPad to its network of hotspots. It gives BT home broadband customers easy mobile access to free and unlimited Wi-Fi and includes a mapping service which is updated weekly so that customers can find their nearest hotspot. See www.bt.com/wifi/onthego for ways to get online.