9th Dec, 2016

Wi-fi for all in Stratford town centre

Stratford Editorial 8th Oct, 2015 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

SURFING the web will soon be a lot easier after plans to install free wi-fi in Stratford town centre were revealed.

Stratforward Business Improvement District (BID) is looking to roll out the scheme by the end of the year.

BID manager Karen Wild said the move had been backed by the majority of town centre businesses and would allow people to embrace the ‘digital age.’

It means everyone from business to shoppers and tourists to visitors to the town will be able to get online for free.

Karen said: “We carried out a survey in August and 85 per cent said they would like BID to invest in town-wide free wi-fi.

“Such a scheme will bring obvious positives to the many thousands who visit our town whether it’s on business, part of a leisure break or on a shopping trip.

“The service will also be a boost to shops and businesses in Stratford as it will provide information on those using the wi-fi, allowing traders to see key statistics including how long people stay in town and how often they visit.

“In addition, it will allow Stratforward to message users about various upcoming events and promotions to keep visitors up-to-date with the latest information.

“These messages will be scheduled however to make sure users aren’t bombarded with information and they will have the option to opt out of the service.”

The system, which is set to go live in November, will be installed by Midlands-based Elephant wi-fi. The company has already worked with the county council, Rugby Borough Council and Rugby First – setting up free wi-fi throughout Rugby town centre to coincide with the ongoing Rugby World Cup.

The project will also be supported financially by the county council, which is looking to roll out wi-fi across the county’s main town centres.

County council leader Izzi Seccombe said: “The introduction of free and fast public access wi-fi is about equipping our town centres with the technology infrastructure for the future.

“The way we use our town centres is changing and we recognise visitors want to browse the internet, use email and social media while they are going about their business.

“By embracing this trend, we can help to enhance the visitor experience in the town centre, which means they will want to spend longer there and this in turn will not only make our town centres more vibrant but also, more economically viable.”