Free WiFi could be on the way across County Kildare

Success of Emily Square project may be replicated in other towns

Laura Coates laura.coates@leinsterleader.ie

Reporter:

Laura Coates laura.coates@leinsterleader.ie

Email:

laura.coates@leinsterleader.ie

Naas Town Hall.  Photo: Tony Keane.

Naas Town Hall may be one of the free KCC WiFi hotspots

Free WiFi could be on the way in public places across County Kildare.

Kildare County Council rolled out free public WiFi as a pilot project in Emily Square, Athy, last summer.

Now it is examining if the scheme can be extended to Naas Town Hall, Newbridge Branch Library, Leixlip Branch Library, Maynooth Branch Library and Kilcullen Branch Library.

The question as to whether the scheme could be extended county-wide was raised at yesterday's Kildare County Council meeting.

Councillors were told the Athy scheme would be reviewed after two months in operation to iron out any problems.

Appropriate additional sites for the county-wide rollout will be where there is an existing council presence, such as a library or meeting hall, and a nearby outside area where people can gather in safety and use the service. 

The WiFi is provided using a 'line of sight' service, which means the users must be within KCC's line of sight of the outdoor WiFi access point, so it is appropriate only in particular types of locations, similar to Emily Square.

Bernard Higgins, head of KCC's Information Systems and Procurement, reported "we will also be looking at other sites that are not directly owned by KCC but where we may be able to come up with an arrangement to 'piggy-back' on existing broadband facilities."

He said the council would welcome feedback on the project.