City traders celebrate as Ness WiFi is officially launched

City wifi launch
Provost of Inverness Helen Carmichael at the launch of Ness WiFi with Stuart Black, Director of Development and Infrastructure and Mike Smith, Inverness BID Manager

CITY market traders and local businesses are celebrating the official launch of Ness WiFi, a free WiFi service across Inverness city centre, providing access to fast, efficient internet connectivity.

The Ness WiFi network is free for all users and has no restrictions on time. 

The first phase of the Inverness City WiFi project, branded Ness WiFi,  is providing fast internet coverage in a pilot area including the Victorian Market, Falcon Square and surrounding streets. The £500,000 project is funded by the Inverness and Highlands City-Region Deal and led by The Highland Council ( in partnership with Rapier Systems Ltd.) The Pilot will help shape the main city Wi-Fi rollout by providing data and understanding of the project.

Ness WiFi was previewed by Lord Andrew Dunlop, UK Government, in December and has been undergoing a period of testing, with excellent feedback to date. A full city centre roll out will follow later this year in the summer. 

It is intended that the free WiFi service will benefit businesses, residents, students and tourists, and encourage visitors to the city.

The Victorian Market was chosen to be included in the pilot project to encourage footfall into the market and benefit local businesses. To celebrate, Harry Gow’s Bakers baked a special batch of Ness WiFi cupcakes to mark the occasion.

Cakes

Jo Chenhall from the Mhor Collective, (funded by the SCVO), will be on hand at the Business Gateway shop in the market to give digital advice from11am until 3:30pm on Monday 6 February. She will show people how to log on to the WiFi and how to get the most from their smart phone and internet connection.

Provost of Inverness, Helen Carmichael said: “I am delighted to see this exciting project get underway. The benefit of easy access to free, fast internet connection will be enormous for shoppers, tourists and businesses in the city centre. So much of what we do depends on the internet, whether you are looking for directions, checking emails, searching for accommodation, booking a restaurant or show, or chatting with friends or colleagues. 

"The vision behind the City-Region Deal is to position the city and the Highlands as a region of digital opportunity. Inverness will be one of the few cities across the UK with free WiFi and a project like this will truly help us towards the ambition of making Highland a place of digital opportunities.”

Mike Smith, Manager of Inverness Business Improvement District (BID) welcomed the initiative. He said: “On behalf of the local businesses, we welcome the launch of the WiFi project which will add even greater value to the city centre offer for visitors and residents alike. We thank all involved in developing and funding this important project.”

More information about the project and how to get Ness WiFi can be found at www.nesswifi.co.uk

6 Feb 2017
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