Westport and Knock among seven town centres to get free public wi-fi

Westport and Knock are to become free public wi-fi zones thanks to a unique initiative which will give locals and tourists in seven tourism centres across Ireland unlimited access to broadband speeds of up to 100mps.

Supplied by Magnet Networks and supported by local authorities and business groups, the ground-breaking scheme will see free high-speed broadband installed in Carrick-On-Shannon, Sligo, Westport, Monaghan, and Knock town centres.

The scheme, which costs the local towns nothing, operates through local businesses allowing Magnet Networks to install access points on their premises, providing seamless connectivity within the town centre.

Carrick-On-Shannon was the first of the six towns to go live with Sligo, Knock and Monaghan commencing in June and the remaining towns going live by August. Each access point in the town has a 150m range so that users will always be in range of a high-quality signal.

Magnet Networks CEO Mark Kellett stated: “The beauty of Magnet Networks’ free wi-fi is that you only need to register once, so tourists coming to different towns along the Wild Atlantic Way, for example, will automatically enjoy free connectivity at no cost in a range of towns.

"As the project is financed by giving local businesses the opportunity to sponsor the wi-fi and send promotional offers

"This offers a local businesses an opportunity to stand out, which is particularly useful in towns such as Westport where there are so many options for tourists to choose from.

“Our aim is to extend this service throughout Ireland, and we are asking interested towns to get in touch though [email protected].”

This initiative follows on from the success of Magnet Networks’ public-private partnership in Galway – the first of its kind in Ireland – which brought local businesses together to create a high-speed digital corridor from Spanish Arch to Eyre Square.

Free public wi-fi by Magnet Networks has been operating in Galway City Centre for over a year now, and is an integral part of the city’s business and tourism offering.

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