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Free Public WiFi Reaches Yorkshire

While work progresses on the UK’s broadband network, and EE make a killing on 4G mobile connections, Virgin Media has been working out how to get even more people hooked up to the web. And they think they’ve hit upon a great idea.

In the new year, the West Yorkshire cities of Leeds and Bradford will become the first places outside of London to benefit from free public wi-fi.

Virgin’s “super-connected cities” initiative will give over 1.2m people in Yorkshire access to fast, free mobile internet services, and will hopefully serve as a blueprint for similar initiatives around the UK. Leeds Briggate and Bradford’s Bridge Street will be the first locations hooked up to the web, with City Park Bradford and Millennium Square Leeds following soon after.

Unsurprisingly, councillors in both cities are delighted with the news, which will provide a boost to the country’s mobile economy by allowing even more people to make online purchases on the move:

“I’m delighted our citizens, visitors and businesses will be among the first in the country to benefit from a free, fast, accessible city centre Wi-Fi service.  Leeds is leading the way in ensuring that our infrastructure is in place to make the most of future digital developments”

Councillor Keith Wakefield – Leeds City Council

As free wi-fi projects like this become even more widespread, spending on the mobile internet is set to increase even further. And with mobile spending in the next month expected to top £920 million, this will undoubtedly be great news for online businesses as we move into 2013.

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