Free wifi for some of Glasgow

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Glasgow has become the first city in Scotland to have free wifi in streets and community centres across the city.

A council statement released last week boasted that GCC has kept its promise to be the first city in Scotland to offer free wifi citywide, including community centres.

The news was welcomed by Pollokshields councillor David Meikle who, earlier in the year, had slated the council for appearing to operate a postcode discrimination policy, snubbing the southside and cherry-picking the east end for preferential wifi access owing to its high profile presence as the eyes of the world turn towards Glasgow in the run up to the Commonwealth Games.

In a U-turn response, councillor Meikle said: “I’m delighted that Glasgow City Council is finally starting to roll out the free citywide wifi it promised in 2012. I understand why the city centre and major transport hubs are the first to benefit from the free wifi. I am also pleased that all community centres in the city have the free wifi.”

The council has confirmed that community centres in the southside will have free wifi, adding that there are no “public places” in the southside.

Councillor Meikle commented: “I would like the service rolled out to the southside, such as Shawlands town centre, as soon as possible.”

The Urban Wireless plan aims to make Glasgow a “Smart City” by 2017, with the second phase of the programme being rolled out early in 2015 — at no cost to the taxpayer.

The council statement explains that the cost of enabling this technology will not burden public funds as the partnership with telecoms giant BT will come from the lease of council-owned “street furniture” and property, with the council providing a license to BT who will be responsible for subsequent support, maintenance, upgrading and monitoring.