Swansea becomes first Welsh city to get free ultrafast wi-fi and phone calls from BT

Swansea has become the first Welsh city to get access to the InLinkUK service from BT, offering free ultrafast wi-fi and phone calls to the local community.

The service, which has already amassed more than 148,000 subscribers across the UK, provides a range of free digital services. It also includes local council and community information.

So far, 11 InLink machines have been installed in and around Swansea City’s centre. They provide ultrafast wi-fi speeds of up to one gigabit per second, which is the fastest public broadband service available in Britain.

InLinks also provide users with free phone calls to UK landlines and mobiles, mobile device charging, the BT phone book app and quick access to charity helplines.

According to BT, the machines result in more space on pavements – typically replacing two traditional payphones. Over the next year, 23 payphones will be removed from the city.

Fully accessible InLink hubs have gone lie in Princess Way and Castle Street, with more set to arrive in Swansea over the next few weeks. There’s support for both English and Welsh.

Swansea Council leader Cllr Rob Stewart called the launch of InLink a big win for public and local businesses. “The exciting addition of the InLinks to Swansea’s streets matches perfectly our ongoing work to transform the city centre into a vibrant and bustling location for business, leisure and living,” he said.

“Digital ambition is at the forefront of what we plan for our new city centre. The Kingsway will become a thriving digital district as we start to deliver projects that are due to be part-funded by a £1.3bn Swansea Bay City Deal – and plans are progressing well for the city’s 3,500-capacity digital arena.”

Juliet Luporini, chair of Swansea Business Improvement District, said: “We are very pleased that Swansea is blazing a trail with the installation of the InLinks and its services throughout the City Centre.

“Swansea is undergoing its biggest and most exciting era of regeneration and modernisation at the moment, which you can see unfolding as we speak.

“This initiative goes hand in glove with the overarching drive to make Swansea an area of digital excellence, and it is very positive that visitors and those who live and work in the City Centre will have access to the fastest free public wi-fi available in the UK.”

Neil Scoresby, BT’s director of digital media, added: “Today’s launch in Swansea 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.”