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Leeds Shoppers Can Be Merry This Christmas With Free Public Ultrafast Wi-Fi And Phone Calls

Press release   •   Dec 12, 2017 13:34 GMT

Pic caption: Rob Powell, BT regional partnership director for Yorkshire and the Humber, Neil Scoresby, BT’s general manager of payphones and InLinkUK, Cllr James Lewis and Matt Bird, general manager of InLinkUK get ready to unwrap the first InLinkUK

Christmas shoppers in Leeds are the first people outside of London to benefit from free ultrafast wi-fi and calls via new street units called InLinkUK from BT. The units offer ultrafast wi-fi speeds of up to one gigabit per second (1Gbps), the fastest free public wi-fi service available in the UK, as well as free phone calls to UK landlines and mobiles.

The launch comes with an extra special festive treat as the integrated tablet feature includes a free Call Santa feature enabling people to leave messages for Father Christmas during the run up to Christmas.

Fourteen InLinks will ‘go live’ in Leeds, also providing residents and visitors with a range of other free digital services, including free mobile device charging, access to maps, directions and local services and a BT Phone Book app.

The first Inlink has already gone live on The Headrow, and with Leeds recognised as the third best place to shop* in the UK, home to major destinations such as Leeds Art Gallery, four major theatres and four leading universities, welcoming this new communications service into the city will solidify its position as one of the UK’s most prominent and diverse digital cities, providing access to all.

The InLinks come with digital displays featuring real-time information, such as the weather forecast and council and community messaging.InLinkUK from BT are able to offer their services to the community at no public cost, as the project is funded by advertising revenue.

Cllr James Lewis, deputy leader and Leeds City Council’s executive member for resources and Strategy, said: “It is fantastic that Leeds was the first city outside of London to be chosen by InLinkUK and BT as the home for this exciting state-of-the-art digital technology.

“We have set out an ambition for Leeds to become a major centre of excellence for technology and innovation. It is brilliant therefore that residents and visitors to Leeds city centre will have the chance to experience the wide range of digital services that are available through these new InLinks.”

Neil Scoresby, BT’s general manager for Payphones and InLinkUK, said: “It is great news that Leeds is the first city outside London to benefit from this new state-of-the-art ‘phone box. It means that visitors and residents will benefit from the fastest free public wi-fi in the UK, make calls for free and even charge their phone when out and about. InLinkUK is there for them not only this Christmas but throughout the year.”

Matt Bird, general manager, InLinkUK, added:“Leeds marks a very exciting stage in our national InLink roll out, and is the second UK city to benefit from the free services InLinks offer. When we launched InLinkUK we said that we wanted to bridge the digital divide and create smarter communities. By bringing InLinks to another major city outside of the capital, we are now starting a new phase in our journey and look forward to the service rolling out to other areas in the coming months.”

About InLinkUK

InLinkUK is a new communications network that will replace over 1,000 pay phones in major cities across the UK, with new units called InLinks.

Each InLink provides ultrafast, free public Wi-Fi, phone calls, device charging and a tablet for access to city services, maps and directions, connecting those who visit, live and work in urban hubs across the UK.

Hundreds of users within range of an InLink will be able to access free ultrafast Wi-Fi on the move, with speeds of up to 1Gbps - the fastest free public Wi-Fi service available.

InLinkUK from BT is being brought to the UK through a joint venture between Intersection, the urban innovation company behind LinkNYC, and Primesight, a leading UK out-of-home media company, in partnership with BT.

Learn more at

BT’s wi-fi network in the UK:

BT already operates the biggest network in the UK, giving customers unlimited access to the most extensive wi-fi coverage with more than five million hotspots.
 About BT

BT’s purpose is to use the power of communications to make a better world. It is one of the world’s leading providers of communications services and solutions, serving customers in 180 countries. Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to its customers for use at home, at work and on the move; broadband, TV and internet products and services; and converged fixed-mobile products and services. BT consists of six customer-facing lines of business: Consumer, EE, Business and Public Sector, Global Services, Wholesale and Ventures, and Openreach.

For the year ended 31 March 2017, BT Group’s reported revenue was £24,062m with reported profit before taxation of £2,354m.

British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York.

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