Culture minister Ed Vaizey will today (22nd July) officially launch a pilot scheme by BT and Barclays to give free wi-fi to up to 100 libraries and community centres across the country.
The pilot scheme will run for two years, and as well as free wi-fi there will also be hands-on digital support from Barclays Digital Eagles and BT Digital Friends, who are specially trained and will give free advice.
Vaizey will launch the scheme at Nunhead Library in Southwark, London, later today.
He said: "It is very important for libraries to continually modernise themselves to meet the needs of the communities they serve - initiatives like this one will help them take a big step in doing so.
“As more services become available online then increasingly libraries and other community spaces will be the place to go for people who don’t have the access or the confidence to use digital services.
“The presence of a member of staff or volunteer to help people navigate this digital space is invaluable and is one of the key things that libraries and other community spaces involved in this project have over other places that also offer wi-fi."
There will be up to 100 sites in the initial pilot, and an extension may be considered by BT and Barclays at a later date.