Public Wi-Fi scheme is almost complete as more towns welcome the roll-out

This story was published 23 March 2022

Settle, Boroughbridge and Sherburn in Elmet have become a hive of digital activity thanks to the roll-out of free public access Wi-Fi.

People using free Wifi in Settle

In partnership with NYnet, we are rolling out the scheme in 20 market towns across the county in a bid to support recovery and growth for communities and businesses. The final town to benefit from the install is Harrogate later this month.

In Settle, the antenna has been installed on the recently refurbished Town Hall which is home to the tourist information centre, shop units and office space.

Owner Jeremy Taylor has been key in the successful roll-out. He said: “We are excited to partner to upgrade the free Wi-Fi network in Settle with fibre. We have been hosting the free Wi-Fi from the Town Hall for the last eight years and I know Settle’s visitors will appreciate the boost in speed.”

Robert Ling, Assistant Director for Technology and Change, said: “We have started 2022 with optimism; the coronavirus restrictions around working from home have relaxed so we are hoping to see an increased footfall in our town centres. We know that the offer of free Wi-Fi in public spaces is drawing people into our town centres to both work and visit.

“Anybody visiting these three towns will now benefit from savings to their mobile data plans by accessing the internet for free with no time restrictions. We are nearing the end of the scheme which represents the latest investment to improve North Yorkshire’s digital infrastructure.”

Free public access Wi-Fi offers opportunities for people with limited or no broadband to access vital local council, government and health services and take part in the digital economy.

A £3.6m investment was awarded by the York & North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership as part of its allocation from the government’s Getting Building Fund. 

David Dickson, Chair of the York & North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership Infrastructure & Joint Assets Board, said: “This whole programme of work to improve digital infrastructure in North Yorkshire is really important for the region. It will support York and North Yorkshire in becoming a greener, fairer and stronger economy.”