Barnsley Council launches free wireless broadband network

Tuesday, July 26th 2011
The network has been rolled out to encourage more shoppers to visit the town.
Barnsley Council launches free wireless broadband network
A new wireless broadband network has gone live in Barnsley town centre, enabling local businesses and residents to browse the internet on enabled devices for free.

The launch of the technology comes following a six-month collaboration between Barnsley Council and AWTG. 

To take advantage of the facility, which is available in outdoor areas of the town, users must first register and agree to the council's terms and conditions, including a fair usage policy.

Once they have enrolled in the scheme, consumers will be able to search for the network - named BarnsleyFreeWiFi - on wireless-enabled devices such as laptops, smartphones and games consoles.

It is hoped more shoppers will be encouraged to head into the town centre by the wireless broadband network, which is set to be in operation for at least two years.

Council chiefs explained increasing take-up of internet services in the area is one of the local authority's top priorities, as the web has the ability to help people "in many different ways".

Last November, ask4 - the largest independent ISP in Sheffield - announced an agreement with Digital Region to roll out fibre optic broadband to council buildings, small businesses, student houses and halls of residence throughout South Yorkshire.

At the time, the company's customer base included more than 50,000 students living in halls across the UK, almost a fifth of whom were located in Sheffield.

Oliver Riddle of ask4 said: "Once properties are enabled, students will have immediate access to super-fast broadband from the start of their house contract period.

"No provisioning delay, calls to suppliers or checks with landlords. Like gas, phone and electricity, this 'fourth utility' will be available from day one." 

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