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Virgin Media Business is to offer Wi-Fi connectivity across Birmingham city centre, after agreeing a deal with the city council.

From September 2013, the firm's Wi-Fi hotspots will provide free broadband at various city locations, including Victoria Square, New Street, Moor Street, High Street and St Philip’s Cathedral.

Birmingham City Council is aiming to boost connectivity in order to stimulate economic growth and tackle digital exclusion in the city.

Councillor James McKay, Cabinet Member at the council, said the project will "dramatically accelerate" mobile broadband investment in Birmingham.

"It will bring enhanced high-speed mobile broadband coverage for more people, and the free Virgin Media Business Wi-Fi zone in the city centre will help bridge the digital divide for those who are otherwise unable to access such services," he stated.

"Boosted 3G and 4G coverage will help businesses of all sizes be as competitive as possible in the fiercely competitive global marketplace."

Kevin Baughan, Director of Wireless at Virgin Media Business, noted that consumer demand for mobile data has "skyrocketed" in recent years, as smartphone and tablet use has come to the fore.

"By enabling the deployment of small cell technologies, we’re transforming the mobile broadband experience and ensuring that Birmingham stays on the leading edge of digital connectivity," he stated.

Mr Baughan said residents, visitors and businesses will gain access to super-fast mobile services and unlimited free Wi-Fi in the city centre for 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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