Bradford – Nearly 50 buildings in Bradford have benefited from free wi-fi in Bradford.
Libraries, visitor information centres, community halls, museums and children’s homes are all seeing wi-fi installed thanks to the SuperConnected Cities programme. As part of the SuperConnected Cities programme, Bradford Council has received Government funding to invest in broadband and wireless capabilities in key areas.
The Government scheme is to enable easy and fast online access to residents, visitors and businesses, and to advance connectivity and broadband access across the UK’s major cities. Bradford and Leeds have led the way in connectivity which meets the growing use of smartphones and tablets.
Twenty three of Bradford’s libraries, including Local Studies which operates from the former Central Library, now benefit from free-wi-fi.
Most library users prefer to access learning resources and other services online and to enable this, Bradford Council has increased the availability of PCs as well as installing the free wi-fi.
Coun Susan Hinchcliffe, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Employment, Skills and Culture, said: “It has proved a major bonus for our library customers, and is particularly useful for students who work in partnership with tutors.
“Many customers also use their own devices since the wi-fi has been installed, which frees up the Council provided PCs for those who don’t have such ready access to the internet. It creates a more modern library environment and is what people expect these days.”
Users of the King’s Hall and Winter Garden complex in Ilkley will also be delighted that they can now access free wi-fi in the venues, including the box office area.
Other community halls with free wi-fi include Silsden Town Hall, the Denholme Mechanics Institute, Ian Clough Hall in Baildon, and Kirklands Community Centre in Menston.
Tourists and visitors can now access wi-fi on their mobiles and tablets in the Visitor Information Centres in Bradford, Ilkley and Saltaire to help them plan their visits to the district.
Bradford Council has a new responsive website, www.visitbradford.com, which adapts the layout to ensure people have the best experience regardless of whether they are using desktop monitors, laptops, or tablets.
There is also a mobile website for use on mobile phones which provides information in a similar style to an app. Usage of this site has grown rapidly since it was launched last June.
Free wi-fi is also enhancing the experience of visitors to Bradford’s museums such as Bradford Industrial Museum, Cartwright Hall Art Gallery, Bolling Hall Museum and Library and Cliffe Castle Museum, and they can share their views and pictures via social media.
Broadband Delivery UK funding has meant free wi-fi has now been extended to most of City Hall including the new Registrar waiting room and the bridal waiting rooms.
Bradford Council Leader, Coun David Green, said: “The installation of free wi-fi in our public buildings has progressed well and is an important part of being a digitally smart city.
“With Leeds we are leading the way on digital technology which in turn attracts investors and visitors, boosts the local economy and creates more jobs.”
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