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Ness WiFi is rolled out across Inverness City Centre

29th November 2017

City-region deal investment means that Inverness can now be branded a digital city.

Ness WiFi, a free WiFi service, which was successfully piloted earlier this year, has now been rolled out across Inverness city centre, extending to and including areas such as the High Street, the Castle, Eden Court, and the bus and railway stations.

The Ness WiFi network is free for all users and has no restrictions on time, providing access to fast, efficient internet connectivity.

The first phase of the Inverness City WiFi project, branded Ness WiFi, provided fast internet coverage in a pilot area including the Victorian Market, Falcon Square and surrounding streets and saw up to 800 people per week sign up and use the service. The Pilot has helped shape the main city WiFi rollout by providing useful data and user engagement and analytics.

There has been a very positive response from the public with some users saying "It's the best public wi-fi I have ever used" and "it is better than my home broadband".

The free wi-fi project, led by The Highland Council ( in partnership with Rapier Systems Ltd.) and funded by £500,000 of £53 million UK Government investment, aims to benefit businesses, residents, students and tourists, and encourage visitors to the city.

Provost of Inverness, Helen Carmichael said: “Ness Wifi has been extremely popular and I am delighted that it can now be accessed all over the city centre. It will be of enormous benefit to shoppers, tourists and businesses in the city centre. So much of what we do depends on the internet, whether you are looking for directions, checking emails, searching for accommodation, booking a restaurant or show, or chatting with friends or colleagues. The vision behind the City-Region Deal is to position the city and the Highlands as a region of digital opportunity. Inverness will be one of the first digital cities across the UK and we have plans underway to put free wifi into another 14 towns across the Highlands over the coming months. This is an important step in helping us towards the ambition of making Highland a place of digital opportunities.”

Mike Smith, Manager of Inverness Business Improvement District (BID) welcomed the initiative. He said: “In this digital age, confirmation that the free Ness Wifi is now available throughout the Inverness City is good news for our visitors and residents alike. It certainly adds to the experience of the increasing number of tourists enjoying the area. ”

UK Government minister Lord Duncan said:“Connectivity is increasingly important for every part of life today, and it's vital that cities keep up with changing technology, especially in somewhere that is such a tourist hotspot, like Inverness. I am pleased that the UK Government’s investment through the UK City Region Deal is making such a tangible difference to people in Inverness, and this roll out will make it even more effective.”

The project forms part of the Inverness and Highland City-Region Deal which is a joint initiative supported by up to £315 million investment from the UK and Scottish governments, The Highland Council, HIE and University of the Highland and Islands, aimed at stimulating sustainable regional economic growth.

More information about the project and how to get Ness WiFi can be found at www.nesswifi.co.uk

 

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