Free public access WiFi comes to Catterick Garrison

Public WiFi being installed.

Catterick is one of the latest towns to benefit from the introduction of free public access WiFi.

North Yorkshire County Council in partnership with NYnet is rolling out the scheme in 18 market towns across the county in a bid to support recovery and growth for communities and businesses.

The WiFi was rolled-out in the first 12 towns last year and the service now boasts an average of 6,000 unique users per week.

In the last four weeks 2,463GB has been used; the equivalent of watching 2,463 hours of Netflix, spending three and a half years on Facebook or watching all eight Harry Potter films back-to-back 123 times.

County councillor Don Mackenzie, executive member for access, said: “We begin 2022 with optimism; the coronavirus restrictions around working from home have relaxed so we are hoping to see an increased footfall in our town centres.

“We know that the offer of free Wi-Fi in public spaces is drawing people into our town centres to both work and visit.

“Anybody visiting these three towns will now benefit from savings to their mobile data plans by accessing the internet for free with no time restrictions.

“We look forward to the further roll-out of the scheme which represents the latest investment to improve North Yorkshire’s digital infrastructure.”

Free public access Wi-Fi offers opportunities for people with limited or no broadband to access vital local council, government and health services and take part in the digital economy.

Catterick Garrison is the largest garrison of the British Army which has a population of about 13,000.

Lieutenant Colonel Jim Turner, the Commander of Catterick Garrison, said: “I am really pleased about the installation of public access WiFi in Catterick Garrison’s town centre.

“It will be a significant benefit for everyone who works, shops and visits there. This fits in very well with the wider plans that we are making in partnership with the County Council to develop and enhance our town centre.”

A £3.6m investment was awarded by the York & North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership as part of its allocation from the government’s Getting Building Fund.

David Dickson, chair of the York & North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership Infrastructure & Joint Assets Board, said: “Improved digital connectivity is vital for the region and will help us achieve ambitions of being a greener, fairer and stronger economy.

“It’s great to see the continued progress of this programme of work.”