A new extension to Galway Free Wi-Fi, which officially opens this week, sees it expand from 13 to 35 access points, confirming Galway as Ireland’s largest Wi-Fi connected city.
The popular free public scheme, the result of a public-private partnership, which was the first of its kind in Ireland, is operated in conjunction with the Galway City Business Association.
Cormac McGuckian, chair of the Galway City Business Association, says the Galway Free Wi-Fi allows the city to guide users around events, attractions and businesses, as well as encouraging people to stay longer within the served areas.
“This service is amazing and allows Galway to extend a welcome handshake to thousands of commuters, consumers and tourists every day,” McGuckian says. “We have never been so connected to our visitors as we are now, with global eyes on Galway after Lonely Planet listed us as the fourth best city in the world to visit."
The initiative between high-speed broadband provider Magnet Networks and the Galway business community has seen free high-speed connectivity installed throughout the city centre, with the support of Galway City Council. The service is now available in the city centre, East Village, Latin Quarter, West End and Wood Quay.
It is estimated more than 150,000 people have already used the service, with usage trebling in the past year. It is expected to increase by a further 100 per cent with the expanded network.
Local businesses have allowed Magnet Networks to install access points on their premises, providing seamless connectivity within the city centre, and McGuckian says it also provides vital GDPR-compliant information which helps the city to analyse footfall and traffic issues for the benefit of all.
Magnet Networks now supplies free Wi-Fi to nine towns throughout Ireland, and to events such as the NFL games at Wembley Stadium, as well as powering the X Factor in London’s SSE Arena.
“The beauty of Magnet Networks’ free Wi-Fi is that you only need to register once, so business visitors and tourists will automatically enjoy free connectivity for their entire stay,” said Magnet Networks’ sales director Philip Clapperton.
"We are delighted with the response from the business community and the public in creating what is now Ireland’s largest Wi-Fi connected city and look forward to further growth of this service throughout Ireland."