Public wireless used for email, shopping and killing time as partners shop
Leeds has been named Britain's "Wi-Fi capital" by Sky Broadband. In a study of wireless hotspot usage, Leeds was found to have the highest proportion of people connecting to public Wi-Fi compared with other cities in the UK.
According to Sky, in a single day, one in five people in Leeds (22%) used public Wi-Fi. That's twice the national average, which was 11% at the time of the study. It's also more than other cities, including Manchester (13%), Birmingham (13%) and London (20%).
Across the whole country, 24% of people were found to have used a Wi-Fi hotspot in the past week, and 41% had used one in the last month.
The study also looked at why people log on to public Wi-Fi, with email by far the most common reason (51%). Approximately one in seven Brits (15%) also uses hotspots while shopping. It's also used by 18% to research future purchases, and 22% to kill time while shopping with their partner.
In a broader sense, around one in three (36%) Wi-Fi users log on purely to kill some time, 31% for entertainment, and 17% to keep up with news and current events.
Sky also found that more people use Wi-Fi in cafes and restaurants (32%) than pubs and bars (19%). Only 10% of users log on in public spaces and shopping centres.
Lyssa McGowan, Sky's director of communications products, said: "As our findings show, Wi-Fi is now part and parcel of everyday life.
"More and more of us want to get online outside the home and do it with the speed and convenience that only Wi-Fi brings, whether it's a video with your cappuccino, catching up on emails while waiting for your train, or keeping yourself occupied while being dragged round the shops with your partner."
All Sky Broadband Unlimited, Sky Fibre Unlimited and Sky Connect customers get unlimited access to public Wi-Fi hotspots from wireless operator The Cloud.
Compare the latest broadband deals with our free online postcode checker