Marlborough businesses are being urged to support the creation of a town-wide wi-fi hotspot by allowing transmission equipment to be installed in their premises.
Becoming a ‘ Gateway Partner’ of the scheme would allow traders to issue the permits people need to surf the net using the free wi-fi scheme, and to advertise their premises as one where visitors can surf the web for free.
As reported by Marlborough News Online back in June, Marlborough Area Development Trust says the free public wi-fi system would:
- Support the local economy
- Enable a range of new services for residents, tourists, and local businesses
- Create a more modern image for the area, encouraging business growth
IT expert and MADT board member Geoff Brickell, who is heading the project, said: “By becoming a Gateway Partner, traders can not only support the local community and economy, but as the owner/manager of a coffee shop, public house, inn or other communal meeting place, they can easily provide a free wi-fi service to their customers.
MADT has developed a complete system and provides a managed service for Gateway Partners so that traders do not need to worry about any aspect of the system, which the trust insists is very secure – users’ access is controlled via a MADT access portal with a voucher system that provides an individual six-character access code to each user that is only valid for one device for a set period of time.
MADT is a not-for-profit organisation, so the cost for the complete service is just an initial one-off low cost fee to contribute to the costs for set up and commissioning at the individual premises, and a nominal annual service fee to contribute to the costs for on-going network management and voucher production.
The system has been undergoing a trial at The Food Gallery and Marlborough Town Hall over the past month. Bob Holman, proprietor of The Food Gallery, reported: “Every single customer has been delighted with the experience, the ease of use, ease of understanding the instructions and the signal strength.”