Selby, Stokesley and Pickering are the latest towns to benefit from the introduction of a free public access Wi-Fi service.
North Yorkshire County Council, in partnership with NYnet, is rolling out the scheme in 16 market towns across the county. It aims to support recovery and growth for communities and businesses by drawing people back into town centres as a destination.
The installation is a collaborative effort between the County Council’s Brierley Group companies NYnet and NY Highways, as well as its Business and Environmental Services and traffic management teams. The work involves installing a small antenna and power box on streetlight columns which transmits the public Wi-Fi service.
Alastair Taylor, Deputy Chief Executive at NYnet, said:
Delivering a reliable network to towns across the county has been a group effort. NYnet has provided the network but working with other teams has meant that we have been able to keep the needs of residents, businesses and visitors at the heart of our plans ensuring we can enable coverage in the highest footfall areas.
Ross Bullerwell, Managing Director at NY Highways, added:
We have had the honour of working with NYnet on the installation of their free Wi-Fi scheme, bringing connectivity to many town centres across North Yorkshire. Being involved in such an important project demonstrates our commitment to improving infrastructure that extends past just roads and highways.
Free public access Wi-Fi has already been rolled-out in Northallerton, Leyburn, Scarborough, Ripon, Skipton, Malton, Richmond and Whitby. It offers opportunities for people with limited or no broadband to access vital local council, government and health services and take part in the digital economy.
County Councillor Don Mackenzie, Executive Member for Access, said:
The free Wi-Fi project for our town centres has made remarkable progress this year to the great benefit of local economies. We have worked closely with our partners to bring this key service to several market towns and there are more to be switched on soon. Free-to-use public Wi-Fi allows businesses and shops to promote their services online, especially over the busy festive period, and it helps to encourage more people to visit our town centres.
David Dickson, Chair of the York & North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership Infrastructure & Joint Assets Board, added:
Improved digital connectivity is vital for the local economy so we’re delighted to see the continued progress of this work. Our region has ambitions to become a greener, fairer, stronger economy and schemes like this will help us get there.
A £3.6m investment was awarded by the York & North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership as part of its allocation from the government’s Getting Building Fund.