Case Studies | 27 March 2017 - by KCOM

East Riding of Yorkshire Council makes free Wi-Fi available

Find out more about its partnership with KCOM

Connectivity is everything. In an age when being out and about doesn’t mean you have to be out of touch, East Riding of Yorkshire Council is at the forefront of making free Wi-Fi accessible to all.

In the past year the council has made free Wi-Fi available in 39 of its venues across the county, meaning residents can now stay connected when visiting libraries, registry offices, entertainment attractions and leisure centres.

Need to send an email while watching your kids take part in a swimming lesson at an East Riding leisure centre? No problem. Just log on and register.

Want to post pictures on social media of a friend’s wedding at the registry office? It’s easy. Use the free Wi-Fi. Or how about if you want to live stream your big day to relatives in Australia? The ultrafast Lightstream broadband connection in Sewerby Hall’s Orangery lets you to do that.

Councillor Jonathan Owen, deputy leader of the council, said: “Wi-Fi technology has revolutionised modern life, with many of our day-to-day tasks requiring a reliable internet connection, whether paying a bill or keeping in contact with family and friends. The way residents are interacting with the council has also changed and ensuring that they can access services conveniently is important and the council is therefore pleased to have made this investment in its facilities. Working with KCOM to provide a managed solution has enabled the authority to roll out its free Wi-Fi to benefit local residents, encourage digital learning and tackle digital exclusion. The works represent an important investment by the authority in forward-thinking technology that allows residents to access services and transact with the council digitally.

Free Wi-Fi delivers a wide range of benefits

Having access to Wi-Fi allows visitors to market a venue by 'checking in' and posting comments or photographs on social media. It also streamlines the process of online booking and payment for services and allows customers to self-serve, providing reception staff with more time to give quality service to those who need it.

For learners at the East Riding’s adult learning centres the new technology means they can work seamlessly between class and home on their own devices, accessing the virtual learning environment from home as well in the centre.

Among the benefits already seen by the council include being able to market and promote the wide range of bespoke ceremonies it offers and excellent ceremony room facilities available throughout the East Riding.

Since launching in 2016 the free Wi-Fi has proved popular, with 60,000 user sessions taking place across the 39 venues with 14,000 individual users.

“It’s growing all the time as people become more aware of it,” says head of resource strategy  Brigette Giles. We’ve been delighted with how the project has gone. Everything has come in on time and on budget. It’s all worked very well and any problems have been resolved very quickly.”