A 5G-compatible public wifi network for the waterfront and downtown Dundee could come closer next week after a series of delays.
The members of the City of Dundee City Council’s development committee will be asked on Monday to approve a £ 1.1 million program to provide the service, as well as an additional £ 10,000 a year for the next seven years, to make it work.
Councilor Alan Ross, organizer of the city’s development committee, said the network will help Dundee achieve its ambitions and unlock funds set aside under the Tay Cities Deal for new technology.
He said: “As a board, we have the ambition that Dundee will become a smart city with the highest possible level of digital connectivity that will improve quality of life and economic development.
“This 5G test bench and public Wi-Fi coverage, as well as the connection to one of our main university institutions, will help us achieve this ambition.
“It will also help us develop a solid business case to unlock the £ 2 million allocated under the Tay Cities Deal for the use of this type of technology.” Together, this activity will place the city in a leading position in this area. “
Recommended contractors AWTG Limited will provide the infrastructure to provide free wifi and the 5G testbed, including the supply and installation of fiber in the central Waterfront and a fiber connection at Abertay University.
As part of the plan to be reviewed by committee members on Monday, AWTG will also extend public wifi coverage to the city center at no additional cost to the board.
The fiber-optic network will provide considerably faster data download and download speeds, with connections up to twenty times faster than those currently available.
The networks will also provide the infrastructure necessary to transport large amounts of data. The main work in the central waterfront area is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
Previous plans to introduce free Wi-Fi for the waterfront and the city center in time for V&A Dundee’s opening in September have been delayed by fears that the technology will become obsolete soon after installation.
West End Liberal Democrat Councilor Fraser Macpherson, who has been at the forefront of the campaign to introduce free wifi in Dundee since 2014, said the new service should be “as future-proof as possible – the most modern and usable ”.
A report commissioned by infrastructure experts from the Scottish Futures Trust last year found that investing in 5G networks across Scotland could increase the country’s GDP by around £ 17 billion.