BT has confirmed plans to install 300 all-new Street Hub 2.0 kiosks around the UK, which will broadcast public Wi-Fi at gigabit speeds – that’s around 14x faster than the average UK broadband speed, free calls to UK numbers, signal boost for 4G and 5G networks, USB ports to charge devices, and a large HD display for adverts.
The first generation of BT’s kiosks launched four years ago as a high-tech upgrade for old phone booths. There are now over 400 of these Street Hubs in operation across 23 cities nationwide. BT has now confirmed that its upgraded Street Hub 2.0 kiosks will be rolled out to 300 sites across the UK by the end of next year.
None of the forthcoming 300 new kiosks will replace the old models, they’re all headed to new locations. That will be disappointing for anyone who lives near a first-generation Street Hub who was hoping to access gigabit Wi-Fi speeds.
Street Hubs 2.0 are plugged directly into BT’s gigabit-capable full-fibre network. According to BT, that means users can access speeds up to 1,000Mbps within 150-metres of the kiosk. Of course, those speed estimates depend on the device you’re using – and how many other people are connected to the same Street Hubs 2.0. Since these kiosks share that vast bandwidth capacity between all of the gadgets connected to the Wi-Fi, you’ll need to be standing near one on a very quiet day to get the full 1Gbps allowance for yourself. That said, the full-fibre connection powering the Wi-Fi will still probably be faster than your 4G signal.
The first Street Hub 2.0 has already been installed in the London borough of Kensington and Chelsea, which will closely be followed by Glasgow, Cardiff, Nottingham, Birmingham, Solihull, and Southampton, subject to local planning approval.
Chief Digital Officer for London Theo Blackwell commented on the plans, saying: “BT’s Street Hubs ensure that Londoners have access to fast and free Wi-Fi across the capital whilst on the go, they improve mobile signal, and help councils to get vital local information to their residents. The pandemic has been incredibly challenging for many small businesses, so I’m pleased that BT is supporting London’s businesses through free local digital advertising.”
If you don’t have a Street Hub 2.0 outside your home and want to upgrade your Wi-Fi speeds, Express.co.uk has rounded-up some of the best deals on home broadband – from the most affordable monthly bills, to the fastest download speeds – below…