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New toolkit to encourage spread of free WiFi in town centres

Stuart Halliday/CC BY 3.0

New toolkit to encourage spread of free WiFi in town centres

A new toolkit aimed at speeding up the rollout of free WiFi in town centres has been launched by the leading group representing Scotland’s towns.

Arguing that free WiFi can improve town centres and boost economic activity, Scotland’s Towns Partnership’s (STP) toolkit will provide public bodies with easy access to information about successful schemes already in place, alongside guidance on implementing different network models.

STP’s chief officer, Phil Prentice, said: “WiFi is rightly cited as one of the most important aspects of digital connectivity that consumers cannot live without.”

The launch follows the rise of “digital high streets” and local apps, with STP encouraging consumers to use local businesses during the pandemic.

As well as highlighting the lessons learned from networks already in place, the new toolkit provides insight to help planners devise the most suitable system for their needs.

Scottish Government Connectivity Minister, Paul Wheelhouse, said: “Free public WiFi provides an important service for many population groups.

“I hope that many local planners will use this toolkit to help them to set-up free WiFi systems in key buildings or public spaces. Helping everyone access the services or information they need is important so that nobody gets left behind in an increasingly digital world.”

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