herald

Thursday 18 December 2014

Dublin set to get free public Wifi network

TWEETING may soon become a regular activity in Dublin's parks and green spaces after councillors passed a motion to roll out free public Wifi throughout the city.

Parks such as St Stephen's Green and Merrion Square may shortly be equipped with free internet facilities -- a move that is tipped to boost visitor numbers in the capital.

City manager John Tierney will now instruct the council to consider the proposal, which could see the initiative being rolled out as early as next year.

The project would make Dublin the first Irish city to roll out a free Wifi network.

Labour councillor Oisin Quinn, who proposed the motion, claims the move would not prove costly to the taxpayer as advertisers would be keen to get on board.

He told the Herald: "Free public Wifi has been a huge success in several European cities. It has massive potential to boost visitor numbers in the city and it would provide the next step to modernising the city. These days, many people need fast and free access to the web when they are on the go. Social networking, checking emails and seeing what's happening nearby are all things people like to do while having a coffee, browsing shops or catching a sandwich during a lunch break. Dublin is a modern city. The city centre is a great place to go. Adding free public Wifi is the next step."

Cllr Quinn proposes that the council seek submissions from advertisers, who he believes would be keen to get involved in the project.

"I've no doubt we could get advertisers on board. I was in Bilbao recently and I could see how much of a big hit it was.

"We need to ensure that we pursue any sort of initiative that will increase the numbers of people visiting the city," he said.

hnews@herald.ie

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