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Southwark switches on free ultrafast Wi-Fi, phone calls and mobile charging

Press release   •   Sep 25, 2017 10:00 BST

InLinkUK from BT: Innovative digital street units replace Southwark payphones

Those living, working and travelling through Southwark can now benefit from ultrafast Wi-Fi speeds of up to one gigabit per second (1Gbps) - the fastest free public Wi-Fi service available in the UK. Southwark has gone live with new InLinkUK from BT street units, which will also provide the public with free UK landline and mobile phone calls, along with a range of free digital services.

More than 100 InLinksare expected to be installed in Southwark, reflecting the borough’s role as one of London’s key business and cultural hubs, home to some of Britain’s most loved tourist attractions, including The Shard, The Globe Theatre and Tate Modern.

Other services available from the InLinksinclude mobile device charging, access to maps, directions and local services, and a new BT Phone Book app. InLinks’ digital displays will feature real-time information, such as tube service updates, weather forecasts and community messaging.

All InLink services are free of charge to the public as the project is funded by advertising revenue generated by the InLinks’ digital displays.

Neil Coyle, MP for Bermondsey and Old Southwark, said: “I’m thrilled local people will be able to benefit from InLinkUK from BT. They’ll be able to see real-time information such as travel updates and weather as they go about their business, but this is a game-changer in terms of helping people who may not have the internet at home to access more services online, and make calls. Most importantly, all for free.”

Councillor Peter John, OBE, leader of Southwark Council, said: “Southwark’s residents, visitors and businesses will benefit hugely from the array of digital services offered by the new InLinkUK from BT street units. The enhanced connectivity and easy access to local services will help support Southwark in its ambition to become a digital Council.”

Neil Scoresby, BT’s general manager for Payphones and InLinkUK said: “It’s great news that we’ve started to roll-out the next generation phone box in Southwark. The digital services will make a big difference for people on-the-go who all need information quickly whether they live there or are visiting this lively borough and want to discover more about it. Charging points, free phone calls, ultrafast Wi-Fi, maps and local information will all be well-used I’m sure.”

Matt Bird, General Manager, InLinkUK, said:Following the great reception our InLink units have received from Camden residents, business owners and commuters, since our June launch; the launch of InLinkUK across Southwark is a great next step in our national rollout. Offering free ultrafast Wi-Fi - with speeds of up to 1Gbps, and with the view to connecting and creating smart communities, InLinks further supports the borough’s commitment to embracing change and regenerating the use of digital infrastructure.”

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 partnership between BT, Intersection, the urban innovation company behind LinkNYC, and Primesight, a leading UK outdoor advertising company.

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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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