FREE WI-FI ON ITS WAY!
Great news this month with the announcement that we are a step closer to free Wi-Fi for the city centre.
We have been working hard to secure this great boost for businesses, and people visiting Sheffield could be logging on to a fast and free service by the end of the year.
Sheffield City Council has announced it is looking for a provider.
The implementation of free, public-access Wi-Fi is central to our plans for encouraging visitors, residents and employees to spend more time here.
BID Manager Diane Jarvis said: “This is something that we have been working with the Council and other partners on for some time – seeing it coming to life for our city centre is very exciting.
“We believe that free Wi-Fi could 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 plans would allow a provider to offer a cutting-edge, high-speed free connection in exchange for exclusive use of street assets used to provide wireless communication services.
Councillor Leigh Bramall, cabinet member for business and economy at Sheffield City Council, said: “This offer has the potential to place Sheffield amongst the best connected cities in the country.
“Our ambition is to create the conditions that allow a super-fast, digitally-connected and vibrant city to thrive. Our economy will benefit and Sheffield will become more connected for people using the city centre."
Under the proposed terms of the competitive procurement, a provider would offer a free-of-charge service with high quality customer experience and good coverage potentially including council-owned public buildings such as the Winter Garden.
Currently, there are a number of free of charge public access Wi-Fi schemes operating in Sheffield but these do not cover the open spaces across the city.
The project will require the Council to enter into a contractual arrangement with the preferred bidder. A contract could be awarded in June with the Wi-Fi service expected to go live by December this year.