McCausland’s Wi-Fi Boost for Downpatrick, Newcastle and Ballynahinch
SOCIAL Development Minister Nelson McCausland has announced the introduction of free Wi-Fi in Downpatrick, Newcastle and Ballynahinch town centres.
The three South Down towns have become the latest in Northern Ireland to offer free Wi-Fi to the public. This Wi-Fi provision in the Down District Council area cost a total investment of £68,395 of which DSD is contributing £46,795 and Council £21,600.
Making the announcement, Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland said: “I am pleased to announce the introduction of free Wi-Fi in Downpatrick, Newcastle and Ballynahinch town centres. The provision of easy access to digital technology is at the centre of the future development of all our towns and cities.
“This service will prove to be a popular and successful way for local traders to promote their goods and services and for shoppers to seek out the best offers. The availability of free Wi-Fi will compliment redevelopment work at in Downpatrick and Newcastle and the major public realm scheme planned for Ballynahinch in the coming year.”
Commenting on the new Wi-Fi provision, Down District Council former Chairman Michael Coogan who stepped down at the Council AGM on Monday evening said: “This project is a great opportunity to offer residents, visitors and businesses access to free Wi-Fi in the core commercial area, and hopefully will be utilised to enhance our town centres.
“The use of mobile devices has increased dramatically in the last few years and everyone wants to be able to connect quickly whilst on the move. There are many new wireless schemes taking place all over the UK and Down District Council are at the forefront of this technology as they focus on growth and regeneration for local businesses, visitors and residents.”
Newcastle area Councillor Patrick Clarke welcomed the news from Minister McCausland and said: “The Wi-Fi system will cover the main retail and tourist areas of the three main towns in Newcastle, Ballynahinch and Downpatrick, through a series of access points located across the town centres.”
“I believe that the free Wi-Fi will make Down District’s three main towns more appealing to people to come and visit as many people have smartphones nowadays and the demand for Wi-Fi is in town centres is quite high.”
“The introduction of Wi-Fi in Newcastle will certainly enable people to access the internet anywhere in Newcastle town centre via phones, tablets and laptops and will mean Newcastle as a leading tourist resort will now be leading on internet connectivity which will surely be an advantage for the seaside town.”