Football Hero Kicks Off Launch of Newcastle as a ‘Wireless City’

Football legend Peter Beardsley will kick off a host of events, activities and competitions to celebrate Newcastle becoming one of the UK’s first ‘BT Wireless Cities.’

The former Newcastle and England striker will join Newcastle City Council leader Councillor John Shipley to open a four-day wireless ‘showcase’ at The Monument in Newcastle organised by BT in association with Intel. Newcastle residents, businesses and visitors will be among the first in the country to experience the benefits of Wireless Broadband (Wi-Fi) at the free, specially-designed showcase.

BT is working with Newcastle City Council to evaluate a range of wireless applications to improve key services such as traffic management and public safety. These include wireless CCTV cameras to help cut crime and reduce anti-social behaviour, which can be redeployed more quickly than traditional fixed cameras.

The ‘Wireless City’ agreement between BT and the city council will transform the way people work and live whilst out and about – and cements Newcastle’s status as one of the UK’s leading cities. It builds on BT’s existing Openzone network.

Businesspeople will be able to work more productively with their Wi-Fi enabled devices, such as laptops, mobile phones and PDAs (Personal Digital Assistants). Residents will enjoy all the leisure benefits of high-speed internet access they usually have at home, such as online shopping, and tourists will be able to go online whilst ‘on the move’ to read up on local attractions, find maps or restaurants.

Newcastle’s new Wi-Fi network covers the main city centre area between Blenheim Street, Percy Street and John Dobson Street, including the main pedestrianised streets of North Street, Northumberland Street and Blackett Street; and also stretches as far as the Baltic Quay area of Gateshead and towards Jesmond to the A167 ring road. Coverage will be further extended as the programme progresses.