Plans for Sheffield to get the biggest public wifi coverage in the UK were unveiled today as part of the city’s ‘Vibrant Sheffield’ event.
The Sheffield Free Wifi initiative was one of the main talking points at the event held at the Crucible Theatre, which aimed to celebrate city’s positive economy and discuss ways to encourage further economic growth.
The service which will be provided by Idaq Networks Ltd is part of Sheffield City Council’s ambition to be one of the best connected cities in the country and will be available free-of-charge from May.
The network will work by installing superfast and ultrafast broadband equipment to council-owned streetlights across the city and is intended to help innovative digital projects such as those led by Sheffield Universities and Sheffield Digital.
The #VibrantSheffield event where the plans were discussed saw over 400 leading figures from Sheffield’s private and public sectors come together to share the city’s success and discuss how to collaborate for future growth.
Emma Crossland, an executive at Grant Thornton, the company responsible for organising the event, said: “The event was all about a vibrant economy; building up businesses, getting business from different areas to interact together and just getting people talking and building Sheffield up.”
“It’s important to try and get Sheffield known more and get businesses to work together and try and keep people in Sheffield. A big focus is all the students coming into Sheffield and getting them to stay here once they’ve finished their degrees.”
“I’ve just learnt so much personally about what’s going on that I didn’t know before – there are so many small businesses doing so much for the community and that’s really encouraging.”
The event focused on three essential themes that are said to be the hallmarks of a vibrant city economy: inclusivity, skills and dynamism.
Among other initiatives celebrated at the event were the digital sector, music and start-ups with a strong focus on organisations that are shaping the future of Sheffield’s economy.
Attendees at the event included senior representatives from both of Sheffield’s universities, Sheffield City Council, Sheffield City Region and other private sector companies.