Tag: Ed Vaizey

Free UK wi-fi has big holes in it

Ed VaizeyThe UK minister of state for digital industries came under tough questioning about broadband in the House of Commons yesterday.

Ed Vaizey claimed that all UK homes have access to broadband and 97 percent have access to broadband at speeds of two megabits.  He claimed superfast broadband availability has doubled, and the average speed of broadband has trebled.

He also claimed that the UK has the lowest prices for broadband of the big five countries in the European Union, and in the United States.

But that position was questioned by Tory MP Anne McIntosh.  She claimed that 28 percent of farms and rurals businesses in Thirsk, Malton and Filey won’t have any fast speed broadband by 2016. She asked Vaizey what steps his department was taking to allow acccess. He claimed the government was well ahead with its plans in North Yorkshire.

Helen Goodman, Labour’s shadow minister of Culture, Media and Sport said that while many people were pleased with the recent announcement of 1,000 free wi-fi spots across the UK, the department’s own map shows that Glasgow, Newcastle, Nottingham, Sheffield and Bristol – with a combined population of four million – seemed to have no provision at all.

Vaizey said that the governmetn worked with the cities “so they came up with their own proposals… It is up to the cities how they choose to use the money”.

UK government to offer free wi-fi

Ed VaizeyThe government has a plan to offer free wi-fi in over 1,000 public buildings across the UK in a bid to make everything a little more accessible.

According to the Telegraph, we’ll soon have free wi-fi offered in libraries, museums, and other buildings as part of the government’s plans to turn our cities into “super connected cities”.

Oxford, London, Edinburgh, Leeds and Birmingham are just some of the places where the free wi-fi will be installed, said the report.

The Telegraph says that some free wi-fi hotspots have already gone live but the majority will offer service by March next year.

Ed Vaizey, who is the UK government’s digital economy minister, said it’s all part of a long term economic plan, to give access to businesses, visitors and the general public.

He claimed that the free hotspots will make UK cities more attractive to visitors.

Other places in the world have similar schemes but accessing the wi-fi is not necessarily a piece of cake because of high demands on services.