Cost casts a shadow over dream of Ulverston town centre Wi-Fi
Last updated at 14:26, Friday, 08 March 2013
FREE Wi-Fi in Ulverston town centre would be a massive boost to the area, a council boss has said.
Peter Thornton, leader of South Lakeland District Council, said free wireless internet would be a “tremendous idea” but expressed concerns about how much it would cost.
The idea was suggested as part of the alternative budget put before councillors last week.
Cllr Thornton praised the suggestion, saying it could have huge benefits for the town, before members voted against the package of proposals.
He said: “If I was driving by a town that had free Wi-Fi I would stop there.
“I would love to see Wi-Fi in Ulverston town centre.”
A free Wi-Fi zone was trialled in parts of York at the end of 2011, notching up more than a million hits in two months.
Cllr Thornton cited York as an example but warned that SLDC does not enjoy some of the same luxuries.
He added: “I would love to have that but York can afford it. We have to hang back – I don’t think, at the moment, we are there.”
He said he was concerned the cost would be prohibitive and also raised concerns over the infrastructure requirements, suggesting the necessary bandwidth is not available.
Windermere councillor Ben Berry included free Wi-Fi in South Lakes towns in the shadow cabinet’s budget proposals.
The report to members claimed the idea could be provided through partners “for nil cost” and would encourage more people to use the high street.
Cllr Berry said his proposals, including free Wi-Fi, were an affordable way to improve council services.
He said: “This is not rocket science – these ideas are not unachievable.”
The alternative budget attracted criticism from some cabinet members who said the plans were under-researched.
Defending the ideas, Low Furness councillor James Airey said: “These are fully costed by our excellent finance team. They are very workable – they are affordable and deliverable.”
First published at 16:34, Tuesday, 05 March 2013
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
Have your say
Massive boost? But that might cause like, 4700 more cars in Ulverston! (With reference to the supermarket article). I've just been told that would be a Bad Thing :)It would be awesome, but would need limiting. Otherwise the whole town would be grabbing HD videos over it (and also the legal implications of that) and yeah, that would get very expensive.
"Massive" boost? massive? I very much doubt that any measurable increase in trading would be achieved. Lower council tax and lower rents in the town centre would help much more. We might then encourage some "proper" shops, not just estate agents, hairdressers and charity shops. It will be interesting to see how the Vapour Bar does, a minority activity at best, I just can`t see it being viable.
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