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Free wi-fi for Weymouth is Olympic perk
WEYMOUTH town centre and seafront are being fast-tracked into the digital age ahead of the Olympic and Paralympic Sailing events.
The borough council and West Dorset District Council have secured a free deal with a Cloud technology service so that residents and visitors can access wi-fi internet technology while on the beach and in the town centre.
It means that people with smartphones, tablets and laptops can use the internet for free for up to 30 minutes a day or subscribe with the Cloud service to get longer wi-fi access.
The new technology has been hailed as ‘a brilliant opportunity for Weymouth’.
Sailing spectators will be able to keep track of the sailors using their smart phones while watching the action on the big screens at the free public site on Weymouth Beach and the ticketed spectator site at the Nothe Gardens.
Gareth Jones, economic regeneration officer for both councils, said the town will be one of just a handful of places outside London using the hi-tech Cloud technology.
He said: “The councils have secured a deal with BSkyB’s Cloud service to enable residents and visitors to Weymouth to access free wi-wi internet in the town centre and beach.
“It will allow anyone to use the internet free for up to 30 minutes a day on any device with wi-fi capabilities such as smartphones, tablets and laptops.
“Those wishing to use the service for longer than 30 minutes a day would require a subscription, however people wanting to access council, health and education websites will have unlimited access.
“The service comes as no cost to the council and will be run by BSkyB.
“This is a brilliant opportunity for Weymouth and it is one of just a handful of places in the UK outside London that will be able to use the Cloud network.”
Organisers say the traditionally non-spectator sport of sailing should more watchable than ever before with race-tracking technology on all the boats, close camera action and a medal race that is as close as possible to the shore by the Nothe.
The network will be able to deliver internet speeds of up to 5Mbps.
The service is expected to be launched next month and will continue to run after the Olympics and Paralympics.
The borough is expected to attract 60,000 people a day during the Olympics, according to Olympic Delivery Authority estimates.
Visitors will be able to access websites while on the move.
Live updates on websites such as Travel Dorset and the council-run dorsetforyou.com/sailing2012 aim to play a key role in the smooth running of the unique event.
Tariffs for Cloud’s subscription service are available on the website thecloud.net/wifi