Councillor
Peter J. Martin
transparency, accountability and effective representation

Groomsport - Councillor Peter J. Martin

North Down leads the way on WIFI

Monday 14th May 2012

North Down Borough Council (NDBC) is leading the way in becoming the first Council in Northern Ireland to establish free, filtered Wi–Fi throughout all of its town centre main streets and shopping precincts. I brought this innovative proposal to Council in June 2011, a month after being elected for the first time.

North Down Borough Council (NDBC) is leading the way in becoming the first Council in Northern Ireland to establish free, filtered Wi–Fi throughout all of its town centre main streets and shopping precincts. I brought this innovative proposal to Council in June 2011, a month after being elected for the first time. With a capital outlay of just £14,000, and after two weeks of trials and tweaking, the service is up, running and receiving great feedback from the Bangor residents. 

Bangor Town Centre, like many throughout the UK, has suffered tough economic times recently and our traders have found it difficult to compete, especially with our ‘out of town’ retailers. I felt a particular responsibility as a member of our Town Centre Management Board to try to give a lead on innovation and regeneration. This project has a range of benefits, not least, 

  • It will give local traders a footfall boost, Bangor Town Centre will now have its own Unique Selling Point. 
  • Residents and visitors will be able to browse the internet and social media more easily and for free whilst in the town 
  • It will promote a positive tourist experience 
  • Local businesses will be able to advertise on the NDBC web portal to promote their products and services for a small fee – this will offset any monthly running costs. 

Many residents will simply enjoy the ability to use social networking sites and twitter whilst shopping or socialising, while others may want to just surf the internet. This project will by no means solve all of our local business problems but if our town centres are to survive and thrive we must think outside of the box and find new and innovative ways to support them. I believe this is one of them

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