Free public WiFi is coming to Coventry city centre, bringing a stream of social and economic benefits for residents, visitors and businesses.
The next-generation wireless service from IntechnologyWiFi offers better digital connections for people using the WiFi.
Users will be able to enjoy unlimited free browsing without running up large bills for data usage.
The wireless network will also provide the infrastructure for high-tech applications that could help schemes from reducing traffic congestion to improving waste collection by gathering and analysing data.
Cllr Jim O’Boyle, Cabinet Member for Jobs and Regeneration at Coventry City Council, said: “Having access to a high speed internet connection is now seen by many as the fourth utility so it’s only right that it is available, reliable and free in our city centre.
“Free public WiFi is good for local people and businesses and I am sure it will be well used.”
In addition to the better WiFi system residents and visitors will have access to a new mobile app, called Citi-Wise. Through this they will be able to find restaurants, attractions and new, exciting and offbeat activities in and around Coventry.
Digital exclusion is becoming a social problem in Britain. An estimated 8 per cent of adults in Coventry have not been online within the last three months. Nearly a quarter of adults in Coventry lack basic digital skills.
Natalie Duffield, chief executive of IntechnologyWiFi, said: “Our free-to-use network will provide universal connectivity to everyone in Coventry.
“Free public WiFi can increase access to the digital economy, improve digital skills, support business growth, help to create a cleaner, greener and healthier city and raise the profile of Coventry as a dynamic and successful place.”
The free-to-use service is being rolled out in 2018. There is no charge to the taxpayer.
IntechnologyWiFi works with local authorities across the UK to offer a ‘digital window to the city’ to engage with users and provide services to support and encourage social and economic activities and the growth of the digital economy.
Coventry City Council has granted IntechnologyWiFi a concession to deploy, monitor and maintain wireless equipment on street furniture and buildings owned by the local authority and partners in the city centre. The concession means the council is not funding this work.