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Free Wi-Fi for Newcastle's public buildings

Newcastle Quayside Credit: ITV News

People in Newcastle can now connect to free Wi-Fi in public buildings across the city.

The first 30 locations are online giving good coverage in main pedestrian routes around the city centre, Quayside and Gateshead's new town centre.

As part of the Go Digital Newcastle programme, BT is providing the service to 69 public buildings.

Buildings involved include the Civic Centre, Newcastle City Council customer service centres, Your Homes Newcastle centres, libraries and museums.

Newcastle has entered the super-league when it comes to providing Wi-Fi to our residents, business people and visitors.

Newcastle will have a digital infrastructure that will be the envy of many cities across the world."

– Cllr Joyce McCarty, Deputy Leader of Newcastle City Council

Lighting scheme on trial at Penshaw Monument

Penshaw Monument at night Credit: Sunderland City Council

A new high-tech floodlighting and CCTV system will be trialled at Penshaw Monument over the Bank Holiday weekend.

Eighteen LED lights have been installed at the base of each pillar to allow a softer, white effect. The floodlights can also be programmed to display colour changing light effects meaning special anniversaries or events such as football celebrations could be highlighted in colour on the landmark.

The £43,000 investment will reduce energy costs by up to 80 per cent and save around £8,000 a year in running costs.


Superfast broadband crosses causeway to Holy Island

Holy Island. Credit: Angela Fullerton

Holy Island – home to a wealth of history dating back to 635 AD – has now truly arrived in the 21st Century.

Superfast fibre broadband has arrived at Lindisfarne, off the Northumberland coast.

As well as battling the North Sea, which covers the causeway access at high tide, a team of eleven BT engineers had to lay around 14km (8.6 miles) of optical fibres from Berwick to the island.

“Living on an island like Lindisfarne can present its challenges – not least of which is the need for suitable communications links. Tourism businesses have to be able to compete on a level playing field and residents too wish to receive the same level of service as their neighbours on the mainland. “I am delighted that through the iNorthumberland programme we have been able to provide superfast broadband to this community.”

– Cllr Dave Ledger, deputy leader, Northumberland County Council

The iNorthumberland programme is being delivered by Northumberland County Council, with the aim of fibre broadband to around 90% of homes and businesses in the county by December 2015.

"The benefits of faster broadband speeds are considerable for businesses with many of those situated on Holy Island serving the more than 650,000 visitors, who flock to the island every year. Businesses can now access booking systems, update websites and utilise social networking sites faster and more effectively, saving both time and money.

– Sean Atkinson, who runs the Lindisfarne Hotel on the island
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