Wi-fi Service (Access)

– in the Scottish Parliament on 21st November 2019.

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Photo of Mary Fee Mary Fee Labour

1. To ask the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body what steps it is taking to ensure that there is access to the wi-fi service across all of the estate. (S5O-03813)

Photo of David Stewart David Stewart Labour

The Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body supports the growing requirement for wi-fi in Holyrood and is constantly looking to improve the coverage, capacity, security and performance of our wi-fi network across the campus.

We have recently implemented a widely available Scottish Parliament corporate wi-fi network, which will allow us to prioritise the wi-fi traffic of members and staff and improve security and speed. Next year, we will look at refreshing the wi-fi infrastructure around the building. That will involve replacing the 169 access points that are currently used to deliver wi-fi, as well as conducting a survey to identify and address areas of the building where there might be gaps in wi-fi coverage or a weak signal.

Due to the layout of the building and the high proportion of concrete, it has always been a challenge to ensure good coverage everywhere. In the meantime, if members come across any area where they believe that there is limited coverage, they should please let the IT helpdesk know so that the issue can be investigated and resolved.

Photo of Mary Fee Mary Fee Labour

Given the steps that have been taken to improve wi-fi coverage across the parliamentary estate, will any work be done to improve mobile phone coverage?

Photo of David Stewart David Stewart Labour

Because of the poor mobile signal that is available within the Holyrood building, additional infrastructure has been installed to enhance mobile coverage for the Parliament’s mobile network provider, EE. Although that set-up does not provide blanket coverage, it enhances the mobile signal in key areas, such as the garden lobby, members’ offices, the ground-floor meeting rooms and the car park. In addition, improved wi-fi coverage within the building will limit the impact of the reduced mobile signal, as Parliament-provided phones, as well as phones from many other network providers, support wi-fi calling, which allows calls and other data services that have traditionally used mobile networks to instead use wi-fi networks.