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Wednesday June 20th 2018

Sheffield Free Wi-Fi launches in city centre on World Wi-Fi Day

Following years of lobbying from Sheffield BID, today Sheffield City Council and Idaq Networks Ltd have announced the launch of free, high-speed Wi-Fi in Sheffield city centre.

Sheffield Free Wi-Fi will help Sheffield become one of the UK’s most connected cities and bridge the digital gap, helping those without access to the internet to get online. With Sheffield Free Wi-Fi now live, a number of projects which rely on an internet connection, can now begin.

The BID has lobbied for Sheffield Free Wi-Fi as part of plans to encourage visitors, residents and employees to increase the amount of time they spend in the city centre. The network will make it easier for visitors to access real time information about the city centre, which in turn will drive footfall and support the high street’s economy.

The BID believes Sheffield Free Wi-Fi is highly valuable to the city centre, and lays the foundation to develop further digital projects to improve visitor experience in Sheffield. We are proud to have been instrumental in bringing Sheffield Free Wi-Fi to Sheffield city centre, and look forward to the benefits it will bring to businesses based here.

The BID’s mobile cameras, which rely on a Wi-Fi connection, will now have the capability for wider coverage. Sheffield Free Wi-Fi also opens up opportunities for visitors to view real-time city information, including travel, weather and even shopping offers, in apps which use the connection. With so much free information at their fingertips, the BID hopes to see an increase in people visiting the city centre and enjoying the time they spend in Sheffield.
Diane Jarvis, Sheffield BID manager, said: “We believe that free Wi-Fi will drive greater footfall, supporting the high street and the local economy, and at the same time make it easier for visitors to access information about the city centre, such as retail and leisure attractions.

“The BID has lobbied for increased connectivity standards for Sheffield city centre for some time now and its fantastic news that the Wi-Fi is now available for the public and businesses to connect to. The BID looks forward to seeing other projects develop, which have been made possible thanks to increased connectivity in Sheffield city centre.”

Sheffield Free Wi-Fi is provided by Idaq, which has installed ultrafast broadband equipment to council-owned street lights and street furniture. Idaq will also use the network to provide a range of exciting cutting edge ultrafast broadband products and services to the residents and businesses of Sheffield city centre.

The service will comply with the new General Data Protection Regulations giving users complete control over their personal data. Users can be confident that personally identifiable data needed to provide the service, will not be sold to third parties. A team of wi-fi helpers will be in Sheffield city centre to show people how to access Sheffield Free Wi-Fi for the first time.

Sheffield Free Wi-Fi will be rolled out in four stages between June and November 2018. Phase One will be the Theatre District/Retail Zone, including Fargate, The Moor, Tudor Square, Peace Gardens, and Pinstone Street and will go live today.

The Entertainment Zone, featuring West Street, Division Street and Wellington Street will go live in July, whilst the Arrivals Zone, which covers the areas around the city centre’s main transport exchanges will go live by the end of September, and the final stage, the Cultural Industries and Devonshire Quarter, will be live by the end of November.
Happy World Wi-Fi Day!

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