Free Wifi Launched Across 56 Towns And Villages In Donegal To Increase Connectivity

A network of free to use public WiFi zones has been launched across County Donegal. The project is part of a Pan European network of free Wi-Fi zones across Europe.

Minister for Rural & Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, officially launched the WiFi4EU network in Ballybofey at the Balor Theatre on Friday 17/09/2021. The WiFi4EU network is a Pan European network of free Wi-Fi zones across Europe designed to increase connectivity in public spaces across the member states.

Free Wifi now available across 56 towns and villages in Donegal

Funded by the EU Commission through a voucher scheme, and match funded by the Department of Rural and Community Development and Donegal County Council, this project has enabled the implementation of 75 Wi-Fi Access Points across 56 towns and villages in County Donegal. 

The Business and Community sector have welcomed and actively engaged with Donegal County Council in selecting and hosting premises on main streets, market squares and community centres across the County.

This is a unique Wi-Fi network as it will be a recognisable network across all member states of the EU. WiFi4EU will be the common SSID for people doing business, on holidays or resident all across Europe. Free Wi-Fi will be of huge benefit to the tourism sector where visitors can engage on social media platforms about their holidays, find out local information, and book services etc.

Minister for Rural & Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD said: “It’s great to have such a wide geographical spread of free WiFi4EU zones in a large county like Donegal. This is bringing more connectivity and accessibility to the public and visitors in every town and village; from Malin to Bundoran, and Glencolmcille to Carrigans. The Department is very happy to have match funded this EU scheme as rural digital connectivity is a key element of Our Rural Future development policy 2021 to 2025.”

Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council Councillor Jack Murray welcomed the launch of the WiFi4EU network in County Donegal. 

He said: “This is another significant expansion to the high speed connectivity footprint in County Donegal and will be of tremendous benefit to our citizens and the many people who visit Donegal on holidays and for business purposes.”

Chief Executive of Donegal County Council, John G McLaughlin said free access WiFi zones in public spaces in towns and villages would increase dwell time in those locations. 

“This will give users time to explore the locality and the shops whilst they are connected,” he said. 

“ Increased dwell time leads to increased local spend so any technology that facilitates this is to be welcomed as part of town and village regeneration throughout the county.  

“The County Council is delighted to help modernise the digital offering in our communities for both the local people and our visitors.”

Head of Information Systems Brian Boyle said: “Donegal County Council has provided free Wi-Fi services in its public buildings since 2015.

“The WiFi4EU programme has enabled the Council to extend the service to towns and villages throughout the county. 

“Public high speed WiFi is a key component of the Donegal Digital initiative which aims to embrace digital technologies to the greatest extent possible for the benefit of citizens.”

Further information and a map showing the distribution of WiFi4EU Access points in the County is available at https://arcg.is/1HD8qa

(Source – Donegal Democrat / Donegal Live – Staff Reporter – 20/09/2021)

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