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Free Wi-Fi is to be made available at 18 healthcare locations in Wales, after The Cloud agreed a deal with two new partners.

Sites run by the Aneurin Bevan and Cwm Taf health boards will receive a connectivity boost, as The Cloud adds to its network of wireless broadband hotspots.

Employees, patients and visitors at hospitals and healthcare centres run by the boards will be able to get online via their laptops, tablets and smartphones once the Wi-Fi infrastructure is put in place.

John Hunt, Head of Information and Communications Technology at Cwm Taf, said the board had listened to its stakeholders, who have been asking for improved internet access at its hospital sites.

"We have overlaid The Cloud onto our existing secure Wi-Fi hardware, which will be available across all major estates by the middle of 2014," he stated.

"This means that everyone will have free internet access via their own devices without compromising the security of our existing systems."

Vince Russell, Managing Director of The Cloud, noted that people often rely on 3G mobile broadband to access the internet from their mobile devices.

"The problem is that coverage can be patchy and the demand on the 3G and 4G networks is so high that they cannot provide the speeds needed to satisfy people wanting to stream video or use other online services," he stated.

"It’s this kind of connection users want. In the digital age, the ability to go online is a necessity not a luxury."

Earlier this week, it was reported that The Cloud is launching free Wi-Fi services in Cambridge in time for the arrival of the Tour de France on Monday July 7th.

As part of a 12-month trial, 20 new Wi-Fi access points are being installed on lighting posts, CCTV poles and public buildings at key locations in the city.

These include Parker's Piece, King’s Parade, the Senate House and the market area.

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