In celebration of World Wi-Fi Day – an initiative to recognise the incredible role Wi-Fi plays in connecting people and things – we wanted to highlight the exciting work we’re doing in Sunderland in partnership with Sunderland City Council to dramatically improve Wi-Fi access across the city.

There are still many people in Sunderland who do not have access to affordable, high-speed Wi-Fi, which is leaving them digitally excluded from society and the economy. In order to help reduce this divide and boost the local economy, we’re working with Sunderland City Council to extend the existing ultra-fast public Wi-Fi service across the whole City Centre and Riverside area (1.7km) to supply free, high-speed public Wi-Fi access for residents and visitors to Sunderland by late summer (UK).

This ambitious project includes expanding the network from 40 access points to 150. This will provide wider, stronger and more reliable coverage, bringing substantial social and economic benefits to Sunderland’s residents, businesses and visitors.

Wi-Fi is also being extended into key venues such as City Hall, to provide free internet access environments for residents with limited or no internet at home and unlock vital access to digital Council services and online job opportunities. Future phases are also being explored such as the creation of safe teenage friendly locations, where young people can access the internet in a safe environment.

This Wi-Fi project is part of our broader partnership with the Council to support Sunderland in its journey to create the most advanced smart city in the UK.

We are confident that our Wi-Fi project is a significant step in creating a more digitally enabled and prosperous Sunderland, where wider coverage and faster connectivity will be available to communities, businesses and visitors across the city.

Read more in our series: 

A world of connectivity – celebrating World Wi-Fi Day

All aboard: Connected fleets are coming, and passenger Wi-Fi is just the beginning