Surfing has come to Northallerton High Street – with visitors and shoppers now able to access free wi-fi!
Northallerton i-Street – a joint project undertaken by Northallerton Retail & Business Forum, Northallerton Town Council and Hambleton District Council has opened up the world of the internet to everyone coming to the town.
Hambleton’s Deputy Leader, Councillor Peter Wilkinson said:
“We are aiming to get all of our market towns wi-fi enabled.
“Shoppers and visitors increasingly want to connect to the internet and some surveys show that this can affect people’s choice of shopping destination.
“Having wi-fi complementing the offer of our attractive towns and quality independent retail offer can only help the high streets’ fortunes.
“This is an early intervention and we are looking carefully at other actions and investments to support our high streets.”
Hambleton District Council provided £1,000 to install the equipment required for the network with partners sharing the running costs and the town council providing a phone line from the town hall.
Charles Barker, chairman of Northallerton Retail & Business Forum and Managing Director of Barkers Ltd, said:
“Town centre businesses are really excited by this idea and we have had a great deal of support for it from a wide range of our members.
“It’s great to be able to mix new technology with our attractive market place.
“We are hoping it will be a real draw for todays connected consumers, adding to the great mix of shopping on offer in and around our town.”
And Mayor of Northallerton, Coun John Forrest, said:
“Since I became Mayor I’ve wanted to get wi-fi in the High Street.
“I’m glad Hambleton District Council was thinking along the same lines too. Working together, and with the added support of local businesses, it has been easy to deliver something that can give our High Street another advantage to compete in what remain difficult economic times.”
Visitors to the High Street will be asked to sign up to the network on first accessing it to ensure it is used appropriately.
The free wi-fi zone will initially cover the High Street from the southern end near the library up to All Saints’ Church as well as Zetland Street. Other areas, such as Friarage Street, can be expanded in future if there is demand.
The network has been created with the technical assistance of local community wireless specialists Clannet, using a series of discrete wall-mounted transmitters.