A free public access Wi-Fi service covering the centre of Whitby has been launched as part of the county’s bid to support recovery and growth for communities and businesses.
The free Wi-Fi was switched on last Friday, the service is being seen as an opportunity to draw people back to town centres as a destination as more people continue to work from home. It aims to promote local shops and services and create a different town centre experience.
In partnership with NYnet Ltd, North Yorkshire County Council are rolling out the scheme in 16 market towns across the county.
In the last four weeks over 14,000 people have made use of the service across the county, with Saturdays proving the busiest day on average. Those 14,000 users have consumed enough data to watch 97 hours of Netflix, spend 53 days straight on Facebook or spend 1,649 hours on Google maps.
The council say free public access Wi-Fi 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:
“We hope that residents and visitors will make the most of the free Wi-Fi service across the seaside town. It’s easy to use; once you’re connected it will automatically sign you in on further visits.
“Digital connectivity is more important than ever for our businesses to unleash their economic potential. Having an online presence is key to showcase their products or services, and a good connection is vital for day-to-day operations such as ordering stock.”
David Dickson, Chair of the York & North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership Infrastructure & Joint Assets Board, said:
“Improved digital connectivity is vital for our economy. It’s a key recommendation put forward by the LEP in a major study examining the future prospects of our region’s towns. We are pleased to see the latest stage of this work launched in Whitby.”
A £3m investment was awarded by the York & North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership as part of its allocation from the government’s Getting Building Fund.