Seb Davies and Jason Harries helped launch InLinkUK in Cardiff as it becomes second Welsh city to benefit from free ultrafast Wi-Fi and phone calls
Cardiff joins Swansea as the second Welsh city to benefit from the free InLinkUK from BT service, which already has more than 215,000 subscribers across the UK. It offers the UK’s fastest free public Wi-Fi plus a range of digital services, including local council and community information.
The first three dual-language InLinks have been activated in the city, providing ultrafast Wi-Fi speeds of up to one gigabit per second (1Gbps), the fastest free public Wi-Fi service available in the UK. The InLinks also provide free phone calls to UK landlines and mobiles, rapid mobile device charging, the BT Phone Book app, as well as easy access to charity helplines.
InLinks mean more space on pavements, as on average, each InLink replaces two BT payphones, and with 10 InLinks planned for the first tranche of installation in Cardiff, 20 payphones are set to be removed in the city. BT’s iconic red phone boxes will remain.
The first of the fully-accessible InLinks have recently gone live on Queen Street, St Mary Street and Bridge Street, with further activations expected in the coming weeks.
InLinkUK and it’s partner BT have worked closely with stakeholders in Wales to ensure that the new InLinks will support both Welsh and English languages, with both the screens and the tablet showcasing dual language information at launch..
Cardiff’s local community are also benefiting from the InLink’s digital screens that display real-time information, including local events and interesting facts, as well as community messaging.
Each InLink provides more than 1,000 hours of local messaging a year, acting as a community notice board for the local area. These services are provided to the community at no public cost, as the project is funded by advertising revenue.
Adrian Field, Executive Director, FOR Cardiff BID added, “We are delighted that Cardiff will benefit from the installation of InLinks to help improve the aesthetics of an area, safety, and promoting key messages.
"It allows those in the city centre to have the means to make their visit an even better experience. We expect them to be widely embraced by visitors, residents and employees.”
Jessica Tompkinson, Head of Communications and External Affairs for InLinkUK said: “We’re excited to welcome Wales’ largest city to the InLinkUK from BT network.
"With the launch coming at a time of rapid progress in the national rollout of our InLinks, we are proud of the work achieved behind the scenes to enable our services cater to Welsh speakers.
We are delighted our services are now live in another key UK city, continuing with our mission to create smarter, better connected communities, and with the InLinks offering a host of free digital services. We are well on our way to achieving this across the UK.”
Alwen Williams, Director, BT Wales added, “Today’s launch in Cardiff brings the fastest free public Wi-Fi in the UK to the city. Residents and visitors alike are set to benefit from this new state-of-the-art ‘phone box’, where they can also make calls for free, access local information and even charge their ‘phone when out and about.”
The UK rollout has so far seen more than 261InLinks installed in Swansea, Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, Gateshead, Glasgow, Southampton, Newcastle, Sheffield, as well as nine London boroughs; with hundreds more to be installed in key towns and cities across the UK.
Since the first InLink was launched in June last year, more than 215,000 people have subscribed to the service’s free Wi-Fi, using enough data to download the equivalent of more than 24.7 million songs.
The InLinks have also saved people more than £980,000 in free calls, with 50,000 calls being made on average every week across the UK.
A key community feature of the InLink’s tablet is its free one-touch lifelines to four national charities. Free calls can be made via the tablet to Childline, End Youth Homelessness, Runaway Helpline and Samaritans.
The InLinks are also accessible, offering additional digital services, including for those who have sight and visual impairments.
InLinkUK from BT is a partnership between tech start up InLinkUK and BT.