FREE Wi-Fi is speeding its way to Tameside. By the autumn all nine of the borough’s town centres should be covered by the SWIFT network – Smart Wireless Internet for Tameside.
The project fulfils the council’s Get Connected promise – one of its 16 pledges for 2016 – and ties in with two others: Lots More Lighting and Every Child a Coder.
Wi-Fi will be provided through access points mounted on new lamp-posts made at the Tame Street depot in Stalybridge. Additionally, these columns will provide super-efficient LED lighting to cut running costs and reduce Tameside’s carbon footprint.
Purple, one of the council’s partners in the Wi-Fi project alongside Network Connect and Meru, will be using their expertise to support the plan to give schoolchildren the computer skills they need to compete in the 21st century economy.
Cllr Jim Fitzpatrick, Tameside Council’s first deputy, said: “The roll-out of free town-centre Wi-Fi demonstrates our commitment to keeping our promises, and to creating an environment which makes it possible for the borough to prosper in the modern business environment.”
Each town in Tameside will have at least three access points relaying the Wi-Fi signal transmitted from council buildings. Ashton and Dukinfield will benefit from dark fibre broadband installed for the digital media hub at Ashton Old Baths, which offers the highest speeds and reliability in the UK.
Access to the free town-centre Wi-Fi will be fast and simple. Once logged in, people will be automatically connected as they move from town to town, go to Tameside College or visit Tameside Hospital.
The scope also exists for premium services which could benefit businesses or New Charter tenants.