Business Technology

Virgin Media to connect Cambridgeshire businesses and visitors with free WiFi

3 min read

17 March 2015

Former deputy editor

Thousands of businesses, visitors and residents across Cambridgeshire are set to experience enhanced connectivity as Virgin Media Business plans to offer free public WiFi across more than 100 locations in the county.

It follows a plan the business revealed in January to transform internet connectivity for 8,000 SMEs in London’s Tech City.

The move outside of the capital will see Virgin Media Business work with the Cambridgeshire County Council as part of the Connecting Cambridgeshire programme’s plan to support the economy across the county by boosting connectivity.

In February, Real Business reported on the war of tech cities, which has seen companies outside of London looking to repeat the formula used in the city to attract IT talent – Cambridge was the highest ranking salary provider out of the capital, and the WiFi push may help attract workers.

Local businesses will benefit from the WiFi, which will be available to them and customers alike, as Virgin’s internet will reach public buildings – libraries, council offices – across Cambridge and surrounding areas. It will also be usable from open public areas including streets and parks.

With use of a single service set identifier (SSID), users will be able to log on once and maintain a connection whenever they’re in range without needing to sign in each time.

Gerry Arthurs, director of public sector, Virgin Media Business, said: “Better connectivity has the power to transform our cities. We live in a world where people expect to ‘always be on’, whether it’s our work or personal lives. Cambridgeshire is an example of a county that is embracing this; a true pioneer of the next generation of connected cities.”

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Noelle Godfrey, programme director for the Connecting Cambridgeshire programme, said: “Cambridgeshire has always been at the forefront of new technology and evolving the way we interact with the world. This new, free public WiFi service is a fantastic example of the difference we can make by working together with our partners to ensure that people can connect wherever they are.

“Developing wider public access WiFi is part of the Connecting Cambridgeshire programme’s drive for better connectivity across the county, which is vital in an increasingly digital world. The roll-out of CambWifi paves the way for improving wireless connectivity across the city and beyond.”

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