Ripon is set to get free public wi-fi as part of a roll out of the infrastructure across North Yorkshire.
The county council is introducing free public wi-fi to 16 market towns.
The borough council put froward £300,000 to include Ripon in the scheme, which will be the first town in the district to receive free public wi-fi. Harrogate and Knaresborough will also be part of the project.
Today’s statement by the county council announcing the news did not say when the rollout would be completed.
Gary Camplejohn, treasurer of Ripon City AFC said the initiative would provide “real benefits” to Ripon. He said:
“Having publicly available free Wi-Fi will hopefully enable locals and visitors to explore Ripon digitally with a view to finding what they need to stay longer and support the local economy.
“From a personal perspective, having free Wi-Fi in the city centre gives me added comfort that my 11-year-old daughter could communicate with relatives via internet communications in the event of her mobile credit running out.”
Cllr Graham Swift, cabinet member for resources, enterprise and economic development at the borough council, said:
“It is believed that more than 80 per cent of adults have a smartphone and we all like to have high-speed connectivity wherever we are. That’s why we’re funding this scheme, which is being supported by the county council.
“Providing free wi-fi in public spaces, such as Ripon, supports our economic growth strategy which aims to make the Harrogate district the best place to live, work and visit.”
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Cllr Don Mackenzie, executive member for access at the county council, said:
“Our free public wi-fi project is very good news for the local economies of the town centres which are part of this scheme. It provides the opportunity to our residents and visitors to access the internet and to find out what local businesses have to offer.
“Following on from the successful introduction of this free service in Scarborough, Northallerton and Leyburn, Ripon residents and visitors are now able to benefit from this latest investment in North Yorkshire’s digital infrastructure.”
The scheme is partly funded by a £3 million investment from York and North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership as part of its allocation from the government’s Getting Building Fund.