Waterford City & County Council welcomes the rollout of Free Public Wi-Fi across Waterford. This free service is now live in Grattan Square, Dungarvan. The Wifi4EU initiative is an EU funded scheme which hopes to develop more digital communities and improve digital access across the European Commission area.
WiFi4EU aims to advance free and open access to Wi-Fi for citizens in public spaces including squares, libraries, community centres, public parks, leisure centres, sports centres, art facilities, and community and council facilities.
The deployment of Wi-Fi in Waterford’s tourist centres is seen as a critical element to our upcoming Digital strategy. Additionally, free public Wi-Fi is seen as an enabler for economic growth and promotes Dungarvan as progressive town. Waterford City & County Council hopes to bring Wi-Fi to the Waterford Tourism experience through digital services, making it more accessible and opening new ways to enjoy the cultural and environmental heritage of Waterford.
According to Kieran Kehoe, Director of Services, “The WiFi4EU initiative complements well the upcoming Digital strategy by promoting wireless access to internet by citizens and visitors in public places. The deployment of free Wi-Fi hotspots is the first step in allowing everyone access to infrastructure and services”.
TheWiFi4EU initiative is been supported by the Department of Rural and Community Development and is providing match funding to that provided by the European Commission. The Irish Government has defined a National Broadband Plan (NBP) which aims at guaranteeing that all citizens and businesses have access to a modern and reliable broadband network.
“Waterford City & County Council now plan to leverage the WiFi4EU programme to cover other key places across the county, and expand the network through Waterford City & County The new hotspots will be placed in tourism centres and public areas, with the goal of finding a balance between services for citizens and tourism services. The service will be rolled out further to Walton Park, Waterford’s Cultural Quarter, Tramore, Lismore and Waterford Greenway carparks in the coming weeks.” explained Jack Doyle, Broadband Officer .
The network will also enable deeper insight into tourists’ footfall and habits, allowing data-driven improvements to provide a service tailored around tourists’ needs while fully respecting personal data.