Free public 5G wi-fi to be unveiled at Dundee Waterfront next year, declares councillor

Free public wi-fi set for Dundee Waterfront area Photo credit should read: Rui Vieira/PA Wire
Free public wi-fi set for Dundee Waterfront area Photo credit should read: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

Residents across Dundee are been given assurances that free 5G public wifi is going ahead and could be rolled out as soon as next year.

Dundee City Council has stressed that it hopes to deliver the project for residents at the start of 2020.

Tenders to set up the internet were received by the council earlier this year and a final selection on the company set to get the contract is to be taken soon.

A report on the project is in line to be submitted to the council’s city development committee for debate at its December meeting.

Councillor Fraser Macpherson, a Liberal Democrat member for the West End, said he had been given assurances by Gregor Hamilton, the council’s head of planning and economic development, on the matter.

Mr Macpherson said: “Going back as far as 2014, I highlighted the need for Dundee to progress free public wifi for the city centre.

“Many cities are discovering free wifi is a good way to attract more visitors.

“Already local businesses from coffee shops, hotels and restaurants, churches and bars are among the locations discovering the value of offering free wireless but a city centre wide wifi facility would be a boon for our city.

“It is reassuring that this is now real progress to finally deliver a free-wifi offering for the Waterfront area and parts of Dundee city centre.”

In February it was revealed the free wifi, which formed part of a £1 billion redevelopment plan for the waterfront, was to be delayed so the latest 5G technology could be installed.

But Mr Macpherson also wants to see free wifi rolled out elsewhere in the city centre.

“Other cities in Scotland that are smaller than Dundee have made faster progress and it is therefore vital there is delivery of this for our city centre and waterfront as soon as possible,” he said.

“We should also then be looking proactively at free wifi offerings for our bigger district shopping centres, like Perth Road, Broughty Ferry and Lochee.”

A city council spokesman said an update will be given to councillors “in due course”.

He added: “It’s great to see progress being made on the 5G Testbed and free outdoor public wifi for the waterfront area.”