BT Wi-fi announced today that it has reached almost 465,000 hotspots in Scotland.
The total, up from 320,000 in January last year, includes more than 41,500 in the Scottish Highlands; 38,000 in Aberdeenshire; 32,700 in Fife; 32,000 in Glasgow and 28,500 in Edinburgh – the top five Scottish locations for BT Wi-fi coverage.
Across the UK and Ireland the company has added more than 20,000 new hotspots each week over the past year, taking the total to five million.
BT saw more than 400 million connections across its wi-fi network in 2012/13* and latest figures show users’ online wi-fi time is increasing, with minutes more than tripling in the same period.
Brendan Dick, director of BT Scotland, said: “We are seeing growing use of our network as wi-fi users spend more time online and use more data. People are now so confident and comfortable with their gadgets, we’ve had to meet the demand with more hotspots in a wider choice of places – on the high street and in thousands of neighbourhoods across the country.”
An incredible 13 petabytes of data (13 billion megabytes) were consumed across BT’s wi-fi network during 2012/13*. The volume is the equivalent of downloading 3.9 billion MP3s (iTunes currently has 26m songs in its library), or non-stop streaming of The Hobbit in HD for 1,042 years. If you were to take smartphone photos placed side by side, this amount of data would be over 624,000 miles long or long enough to wrap around the equator twice.**
Research conducted by BT and ICM*** has found that usage trends for wi-fi vary according to age. Most 18-24s favour wi-fi for social media, whilst the 35-44 age group chooses to shop online. Most 45-54s use it for GPS and mapping services, whilst the over 65s use wi-fi for finding discount vouchers or codes.
There are also more than 23,600 places where people can connect via BT Wi-fi in Aberdeen; 20,700 in Dumfries & Galloway; 18,600 in the Scottish Borders; 16,000 in Argyll & Bute; 13,600 in Moray and 12,700 in Angus.
All BT Wi-fi hotspots are free and unlimited for BT Broadband customers – although anyone can logon. It’s available at brands like Starbucks, GAME, John Lewis, Network Rail and Hilton plus millions of homes and thousands of independent businesses.
BT’s Wi-fi apps are also proving popular, with almost two million downloads by BT Broadband customers, and are available in the relevant app stores for Windows, iOS, Android and Blackberry users. For more information, visit www.btwifi.com
Notes to editors:
* Period between April 2012 and March 2013
** Average smartphone camera photo is 3MB in size and the average printed photo is 8.5 inches wide.
*** BT ICM Research March 2013, sample of 2,000 people.
 Based on an average MP3 size of 3.5MB
Based on an average HD film streaming at 1.5 GB per hour – The Hobbit is 169 minutes long.
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Contact: BT Scotland press office