16 April 2024

Council rolls out free Wi-Fi across towns

Free WiFi has been rolled out in more East Riding towns including in Hornsea, Withernsea and Hedon.

East Riding Council is now providing internet access for residents and visitors in outdoor areas of the towns, as well as in Bridlington, Goole, Beverley, Pocklington and Howden.

The free Wi-Fi also supports local businesses, allowing market traders to take card payments more quickly and efficiently, as well as improving internet access in outdoor spaces at cafés and pubs.

Lisa Gray, who runs the Little Cheese Pantry at Beverley’s Saturday Market, said: “For a while now, there have been signal problems in the centre of Beverley, which has meant many of the traders have struggled to use their card machines.

“This is frustrating for not only the traders but the customers too. I think the installation of the East Riding Council Wi-Fi will hugely impact the service our traders can offer customers, and potentially increase sales.”

Public Wi-Fi has proved popular since being installed in the new outdoor areas, with an average of 1,478 connections per day.

To enjoy 24-hour connectivity with unlimited data, users simply connect to the “EastRidingFreeWiFi” network and provide their email address.

They will then be directed to a Visit East Yorkshire page full of information relevant to the town they are in.

Councillor Charlie Dewhirst, deputy leader of the council, said: “Access to digital services is an essential part of our lives, and we all know how frustrating it can be when mobile data is not available when we’re out and about.

“By providing free public Wi-Fi, as part of our wider Smart County programme, we hope to improve the way residents, visitors, and local businesses access digital services in our town centres, marketplaces and beachfronts.”

The new Wi-Fi service has been funded for a period of five years by the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund as part of the Levelling Up agenda.

The council is looking at how it could be rolled out to more areas in the future.

Free Wi-Fi has been available in Driffield town centre since 2022.