Hundreds of people living in three Leeds City Council tower blocks are the latest to benefit from free Wifi as part of ongoing efforts to combat digital exclusion in the city.
Leeds City Council has partnered with Telcom Group to offer the service to around 300 residents in three blocks at Clyde Court in Armley, Lovell Park Towers in LS7 and Marlborough Towers in the city centre.
Two more blocks - Naseby Grange and Holborn Towers - are due to go live early next year.
The partnership is part of the council’s 100% Digital Leeds programme aimed at improving digital inclusion and bringing positive outcomes including financial savings, reduced isolation, better employment prospects and improved health and wellbeing.
The council estimates 25 per cent of its 57,000 social housing residences don’t have permanent access to the internet. With those wishing to claim Universal Credit unable to do so without being online, the council is making it a priority to help get its residents connected.
Telcom Group have developed a service named Comet that provides free superfast WiFi to tenants.
Shaun Gibson, Telcom Group CEO, told the YEP: “It is our belief that everyone should have access to affordable, ultrafast internet. This project with Leeds is a step change for local authorities in their quest to improve the lives of its citizens and we are delighted to be part of it”
Councillor Debra Coupar, Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Communities said: “Leeds City Council are excited to be developing our partnership with Telcom. We know that about 1 in 4 tenants within council housing in Leeds don’t have access to the internet, whether that’s because of the cost or having the skills and confidence to do so. By developing these trials, we’re helping remove some of the barriers to being online and giving residents access to all the advantages that being online brings, like making savings on shopping, applying for jobs, managing finances or keeping in touch with family and friends. It also helps us to be more efficient, as residents are able to access
more and more of our services digitally in a way and at a time that’s convenient to them.”