Residents of a tower block in Glasgow, UK are to get a building wide Wi-Fi network as part of a new project to encourage digital participation.
It’s the first large-scale Scottish project of its kind and is believed to be among the first in Europe.
The trial project will see each of the 138 homes in the residential tower block offered a new tablet to connect to Wi-Fi access points throughout the building, linked back into the main BT network via a single fibre cable.
The digital inclusion project, which is backed by over £70,000 of funding from the Scottish Government, was launched by Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop.
BT Scotland director Brendan Dick added: “The idea of giving tenants the ability to get online is one that many housing associations across the UK are considering, but here in Glasgow it is already a reality.
“The exciting thing for us is that the system we’ve developed in Glasgow is both simple and cost effective, working out at a cost to GHA of around £5 per tenant a month for this study. If the trial is a success, it could be replicated by housing associations UK-wide.
Once the technology is in place, the system can be used to access services in areas such as telecare, telehealth and smart-metering, as well as the online welfare reforms which are on the horizon.
The Kirkton Avenue trial follows a pilot project in Pollok, in Glasgow’s South Side, where 12 families in three GHA blocks of low-rise flats were provided with online access to see how broadband improves their quality of life.
Glasgow as a whole has a low level of broadband take-up – with only 50 per cent of Glaswegians online compared to 80 per cent in the whole of the UK.