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Free wifi roll out across Gloucester city centre

By citizenmike  |  Posted: April 01, 2014

By Mike Wilkinson, Public Affairs reporter

TWM_WiFi_310314_1028

A new tourism app is launching in the summer

Comments (7)

A FREE wifi revolution could be hitting the streets of Gloucester city centre soon.

A plan to introduce free access to the internet across the gate streets is on the cards.

It comes as a new app promoting the city’s attractions and events is being launched by Marketing Gloucester for tourists. The app will make it easier for them to get around and make the most of their visit.

With a choice of three different tours to choose from, the new app will feature attractive images, a brief history and interesting facts. It will highlight any festivals and events taking place and it will include suggestions on places to eat and drink nearby.

The three tours will be a city centre tour, a maritime and industrial heritage tour of the Docks and a tour of Gloucester’s religious buildings. The free app will launch in the summer.

Jason Smith, chief executive of Marketing Gloucester, said: ““With the app we will also be able to promote what is happening in the city such as tours that are taking place.

“It would also be fantastic to have free wifi. Other cities such as London and Bristol are already doing it.”

Rolling out wifi would mean visitors from overseas could avoid expensive data charges on their mobile devices.

It could also be a further boon for tourism if Marketing Gloucester collected e-mail addresses from everyone who uses the wifi, as they could then be used to send mailings with reasons to return to the city.

Councillor Declan Wilson (LD, Hucclecote) has masterminded the innovative idea. He said: “We don’t want to be left behind as a city. We should be proud of our history but not be afraid to looking forward too.

“There have been complaints from American tourists that wifi isn’t available. Britain in general is quite far behind other countries where widespread wifi access is available.”

Users would log on for one hour of wifi by entering an email address. They would agree to receive marketing information about the city.

City councillors backed Mr Wilson’s plan at a meeting last Thursday and the council has now been tasked with investigating its viability.

The city has a requirement to provide some free wifi access during the Rugby World Cup in 2015 when four international games will be played at Kingsholm.

FACT FILE

  • Currently people can access wifi in city coffee shops such as Costa and Starbucks, but they must be a customer.
  • Free internet access is also available at libraries in Gloucester.
  • Rugby World Cup 2015 organisers say that Gloucester must provide free wifi in designated fanzones in the city during the four international matches being played at Kingsholm.
  • Free wifi zones are in operation in cities like London and Bristol, as well as abroad.
  • Some coffee shops now offer free drinks but instead charge for pay-per-minute access to their establishments. It means people don’t need to worry about hogging a cold cappuccino for two hours while trying to do some work.

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7 comments

  • MrBigEdd99  |  April 01 2014, 2:59PM

    Try and keep your tablet out of sight, unless you want some local Gloucester Gentleman or Lady to nick it straight out of your hands and run off down the street with it. You have been warned.

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  • JemmyWood  |  April 01 2014, 1:18PM

    I believe there are something like 20 odd cities across the UK providing this (happy to be corrected though). Its better Gloucester City Centre is a WiFi Hot Spot rather than a WiFi Not Spot. This can only be a good thing for the actual city centre. I just hope we don't see this dragged out by a pedestrian speed process to get it up and running. The technology is there, the ability to do this is there..

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  • Lecorche  |  April 01 2014, 11:14AM

    Sounds a bit like "Cloud",used in some eateries. To avoid spam just enter a false (make-it-up) email address. Works for me.

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  • Apothegm_  |  April 01 2014, 10:52AM

    @Mikejh62 - the problem with people bumping into things while texting or looking at their tablets would be solved by one of the manufacturing suggestions made today, namely, to make these devices transparent!

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  • Deadlock  |  April 01 2014, 10:25AM

    Good stuff a step in the right direction in this ever connected / e-commerce world. I wonder if it will be better than my 4G connection as at the moment 4G is rapid for me in Gloucester.

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  • GlosAnarchy  |  April 01 2014, 9:35AM

    Great idea, it's about time!

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  • Mikejh62  |  April 01 2014, 8:51AM

    Whilst this should be welcomed, not if it is going to mean fools like the one in the photo, walking around and not looking where they are going. It should be noted that some pubs also offer free wifi for those of us that wouldnt be seen dead in a coffee shop. Some shops - such as Debenhams - also offer free wifi. How will they feel about this, seeing as they are using their wifi to advertise products instore?

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