Intel study names top UK wi-fi cities

LONDON (11/13/2003) - Exeter, England may not spring to mind when you think of wireless connectivity, but a new study from Intel has named a pub in the Devon city as the place to go if you're looking for high-speed wireless internet access.

Intel Corp. conducted a study to locate Britain's 'Wi-Fi capital' by analyzing the number of hotspots against the number of people in towns and cities across the U.K.

London -- the one place you'd expect to be crammed with wireless hotspots -- came well down the list at number 33 because the number of hotspots per person is relatively small, with most being shared by large volumes of users.

The top three positions were filled by Exeter, Bangor and Newcastle with Cardiff, Portsmouth and Southampton scooping up seventh, eighth and ninth respectively.

"Exeter is a thriving and progressive city. We're thrilled to have been named Britain's Wi-Fi capital. It's a real bonus for the people of Exeter, for business and for tourism," said Richard Bell, head of economy and tourism at Exeter City council.

The top 10 Wi-Fi spots are:

1. Exeter

2. Bangor

3. Newcastle

4. Loughborough

5. Oxford

6. Exmouth

7. Banbury

8. Cardiff

9. Portsmouth

10. Southampton

Pubs account for the majority of the U.K.'s 3,000 hotspots with around 1,300 access points between them. Other popular locations are airports, hotels and train stations. Analysts estimate there will be over 70,000 hotspots across Europe by 2008.

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