Town cen­tres switch on to free WiFi

Glossop Advertiser - - Front Page - Coun Kieran Quinn

YOU may have seen the stick­ers all around the bor­ough, and now you’ve found out what they mean.

Free wi fi has ar­rived in all of Tame­side’s town cen­tres. Last week I was joined at Ash­ton Old Baths by rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the coun­cil, Pur­ple Wi Fi and Network Con­nect as we put Tame­side at the fore­front of the dig­i­tal revo­lu­tion not just in Greater Manch­ester, but in the en­tire north west.

And make no mis­take, when I say the wi fi is free, that re­ally means free.

The Smart Wire­less In­ter­net for Tame­side (SWIFT for short) is open to any­body with a com­pat­i­ble de­vice within its ser­vice area.

There are no down­loads or stream­ing lim­its, and to make it safe for young peo­ple ac­cess to web­sites will op­er­ate un­der the same poli­cies used in Tame­side’s li­braries.

Log­ging in is done via a Twit­ter or Face­book ac­count or as a guest, and peo­ple will au­to­mat­i­cally be con­nected as they move around our town cen­tres.

I know there are some who ques­tion why lo­cal gov­ern­ment is con­cern­ing it­self with projects like this in a time of aus­ter­ity. Let me be clear, this is a low-cost, low-risk in­vest­ment that will bring great ben­e­fits not just for our res­i­dents but for our busi­ness as well.

Free wi fi will not just at­tract peo­ple to our town cen­tres, it will get them to stay longer and make more use of our shops and ser­vices. We’re also work­ing with our part­ners to use the SWIFT network to pro­vide new and linked-up dig­i­tal ser­vices in a way we would have never been able to do un­der other cir­cum­stances.

The best bit from a value for money stand­point is that we haven’t had to cre­ate a whole new set of in­fra­struc­ture for it. In the ma­jor­ity of cases we’ve been able to fit it around what’s al­ready there. The wi fi emit­ters that trans­mit the sig­nal are em­bed­ded in our town halls or in our new LED lamp­posts, pro­duced at the Tame Street de­pot in Staly­bridge.

I’m de­lighted that our vi­sion for free wi fi in Tame­side has be­come a re­al­ity. So if you’re in and about Tame­side in the fu­ture make sure you give the SWIFT Wi Fi network a spin.

Whether it’s to check the weather, up­date your Face­book or look for the bus times, there’s a way to make it work for you.

Tame­side coun­cil leader Kieran Quinn

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