County leading the way on free wi-fi access

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A FREE wi-fi trial has been launched in Selby following a similar cutting-edge scheme in York placing the region firmly on the map as a leading light in internet technology.

The joint venture between the Selby Chamber of Commerce and local businesses sees the length of the town’s main street covered by free wireless internet access.

While the York pilot is a council-led scheme, the Selby project is being financed through private enterprise.

Aimed at boosting visitors to the town, it is hoped the trial will be rolled out across the rest of the town over the next few months.

The chairman of the Selby Chamber, David Fieldsend, said: “This is something I have wanted to do for the town for nearly four years. So as a joint venture with Fieldsend Enterprises Ltd, Selby Chamber and Heaven and Home, we thought would just get on with it.

“We are hoping the trial will go well, so we can get the rest of the town covered over the next few months.

“The initial base site graciously donated by Richard at Heaven and Home should give us coverage of the whole length of Gowthorpe, we then hope to put one down Finkle Street to cover the square and a final one in Market Cross area. Although these additional site have not been identified as yet.”

Individual access will be capped at 1Mb so more people will be able to use the service and filtering measures will be imposed to prevent illegal use.

A free wi-fi internet zone launched in York last month has seen tens of thousands of shoppers and tourists take advantage of the initiative, which was one if the first schemes of its kind nationally. The first fortnight of the pilot, which began on November 14, saw more than 131,000 hits and it is hoped the scheme could become permanent.

The Digital York scheme is part of York Council’s re-invigorate York initiative - an ambitious project to improve and enhance the quality of the city’s public spaces.