York rolls-out city centre public Wi-Fi

The City of York has brought in Ruckus Wireless and Pinacl Solutions to implement free public Wi-Fi in three key areas of the city.

According to the city council, the city centre Wi-Fi network has already received a million hits during the first three months of its operation and it is viewed as vital in the fostering and support a thriving business community.

Additionally, the council said the service was essential for the seven million tourists York receives annually and for its 197,800 residents.

The solution has been deployed across three sites: the main shopping street in the city centre, Rowntree Park, and Museum Gardens.

Roy Grant, head of ICT at City of York Council said: "With an outdoor focus, this deployment evolved to encompass a city centre Wi-Fi solution that would light up key hotspots in the city centre, with a view to joining them together to provide complete Wi-Fi coverage across as much of the city as possible.

"With that in mind, one of our key requirements was for scalability so that we can avoid having to reinvest in core infrastructure in the future. We also wanted to provide an easy way for residents, visitors and businesses to access the council's wide range of information services."

The historic nature of the city also meant that whichever provider the council chose, they would have to be able to provide an offering that had minimal environmental impact. According to Grant, the Ruckus plan ticked all those boxes.

"The Ruckus equipment gave us a great experience from day one. It has supported and improved our flexible working aspirations and opened up another channel of access for our customers, citizens, visitors and the business community," he added.

Rob Mustarde, vice president of worldwide marketing at Ruckus Wireless, said: "The market for outdoor Wi-Fi in dense urban environments requires a new class of Wi-Fi built for capacity and reliability, which is able to address a wide range of siting challenges."

"Ruckus has clearly innovated in these areas, and in the case of the City of York was also able to offer an easily mountable, completely weather resistant small cell configuration with a highly pleasing form factor," Mustarde concluded.

Jane McCallion
Deputy Editor

Jane McCallion is ITPro's Managing Editor, specializing in data centers and enterprise IT infrastructure. Before becoming Managing Editor, she held the role of Deputy Editor and, prior to that, Features Editor, managing a pool of freelance and internal writers, while continuing to specialize in enterprise IT infrastructure, and business strategy.

Prior to joining ITPro, Jane was a freelance business journalist writing as both Jane McCallion and Jane Bordenave for titles such as European CEO, World Finance, and Business Excellence Magazine.