High-fi For Wick And Thurso - Free Wifi Is Rolled Out To Caithness Towns
1st November 2018
WICK and Thurso now have access to free WiFi in and around the centre of their towns thanks to a project led by the Highland Council and funded by the Inverness and Highland City-Region Deal.
The free WiFi, called "High-Fi", is aimed at stimulating economic growth and will increase digital inclusion across the Highlands. Easy access to digital connectivity is seen as essential if the Highland region is to be innovative and keep its competitive place in the tourism market.
Thurso Town Centre Map of Area Covered
Allied to this, WiFi also offers the opportunity to gather data to support tourism and the creation of a wireless infrastructure in a town centre allows smart traffic management technology to be utilised.
Wick Town Centre Map of Area Covered
The first phase of the free WiFi project was a Pilot in part of Inverness City Centre which was later rolled out to the wider city in early 2017 as Phase 2. The 3rd Phase has seen the roll-out of free WiFi to 14 towns across Highland during 2018.
Additional towns to receive High-Fi during phase 3 of the project have included Alness, Aviemore, Dingwall, Dornoch, Drumnadrochit, Fort Augustus, Fort William, Invergordon, Nairn, Portree, Tain and Ullapool.
The rollout involves local communities, groups and businesses.
Chair of the Caithness Committee, Councillor Matthew Reiss said: "This project is fantastic news for Caithness and I am sure it will be welcomed by everyone who lives here, as well as our many visitors to the far north.
"Digital connectivity is essential these days for daily life and the free access to WiFi will enable visitors and locals to make the most of local businesses by checking what's on, where to visit in the area, opening hours, accommodation and prices, as well as finding local job opportunities and keeping in touch with family and friends.
"High-Fi will help Wick and Thurso town centres to thrive. It will be great for posting photos of our stunning scenery on social media and helping to promote Caithness, and all this region offers, to the wider world."
The City-Region Deal sets out the areas where the Scottish Government will commit investment of up to £135m and the UK Government will commit investment of up to £53.1m, which, together with £127m of further investment by the Council and partners, will deliver a step change in digital connectivity, digital healthcare, skills, innovation and infrastructure.
UK Government minister Lord Duncan said: "Digital connectivity isn't a luxury, it's a necessity. The roll out of free Wi-Fi will help locals and businesses as well as making it easier for tourists visiting picturesque locations such as Wick and Thurso to share their experiences with people back home. I am pleased that the UK Government was able to directly support this essential project as part of the Inverness and Highland City-Region Deal funding."
How to use:
Turn on WiFi on your mobile phone or other device
For High-Fi it shows the town name first e.g. Wick_WiFi_Free (High-Fi)
Log-on with either your social media details or by entering your email address
Start enjoying the free WiFi!
For Inverness WiFi go to your wifi settings and select NESS_WiFi_Free
Councillors Matthew Reiss and Willy Mackay
Police in Lochaber can confirm that a 27-year-old man has been arrested in connection with alleged consumer protection offences in Fort William. It follows an investigation by Police Scotland and Highland Council Trading Standards, after a report was received this week of "bogus workmen" in Fort William and alleged fraudulent activity relating to charges for work carried out on a house in the town.
DETAILED analysis of the Scottish Government's funding settlement, which makes up the vast proportion of the Council's budget, has been carried out and the net result is that the Highland Council will see a reduction in its grant funding to provide the current level of services. This, together with the additional pressures equates to a £31.2M budget gap for 2019-20.
Highland Council Trading Standards have produced guidance on how to spot the signs of scams that target businesses and also remind businesses to inform their employees on what to look out for when dealing with unsolicited telephone calls, emails and texts. All businesses as well as non-profit organisations (such as charitable organisations) may spend a lot of time dealing with potential scammers.
The Highland Council has written to parents and carers of school transport pupils to inform them that D&E Coaches have recently transferred a number of Highland Council contracts to Stagecoach and some school transport routes are included. These changes are to take effect from the first day back after the school holidays, Monday 7th January 2019 and timetables have been supplied for the routes affected.
Twenty nine members of The Highland Council's Care and Learning team have celebrated their success in completing the Council's 15 month ‘Lead On’ programme. ‘Lead On’, is a programme designed to develop practitioners’ understanding of change leadership and apply this through a change initiative in their place of work.
Highland Councillors are looking forward beyond the current Inverness and Highland City-Region Deal and asking: "What next and where?". Following publication of the Deal's annual report, Leader of The Highland Council Cllr Margaret Davidson said: "A meeting will be convened in the New Year with Councillors who have a particular interest in the City-Region Deal to talk about where we can go next and what we can do.".
Work underway to determine Highland's Budget allocation. Commenting after the news received last night of Councils' individual allocations, from the Scottish Government’s draft Budget, Budget Leader Councillor Alister Mackinnon said: "Having received the details of our allocation just last night, it will take some time to work through the proposed settlement and do a detailed analysis.
THROUGHOUT the month of November, The Highland Council's Chief Executive and members of the budget team have met with staff, groups and communities across the length and breadth of the Highlands. These sessions were part of a budget engagement exercise which also included facebook chats, survey, leaflet, video, and a budget challenge to raise awareness of budget challenges and gather views and priorities.
The Highland Council is to carry out a public consultation on the implementation of a transient visitor levy in the New Year. During the Council's public engagement activity during November, a strong theme was support for raising income from tourism, including a tourist levy, which could support local infrastructure, as well as the tourism sector itself.
Members have agreed six priority commitments in a revised Council Programme at today's council meeting. The six themes within the Programme are: A Council that Champions the Highlands; A Place to Live; A place to Thrive; A place to Prosper; A Welcoming Place; and Your Highland Council These themes and the actions which the council has agreed to, reflect priorities which have emerged through the round of public engagement during November.
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