York Wi-Fi Network To Enable ‘Thriving Business Community’

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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York Wi-Fi network to build on existing connectivity in the city and promote council services

York City Council hopes a new city centre Wi-Fi network will enable a “thriving business community” and allow easier access to council services.

It has partnered with Wi-Fi equipment manufacturer Ruckus to deploy the network, which has received one million hits in its first three months of operation and not received one single complaint.

The city receives seven million visitors a year and said it was already well-connected prior to the deployment thanks to the largest metro fibre network in the UK, providing gigabit connections to nearly 200 locations.

Wi-Fi has been deployed at three locations in the city centre, including the main shopping area, Rowntree Park and the Museum gardens and the council hopes it will build on existing connectivity projects in York.

York Wi-Fi network

York Micklegate“With an outdoor focus, this deployment evolved to encompass a city centre Wi-Fi solution that would light up key hotspots in the city centre, with a view to joining them together to provide complete Wi-Fi coverage across as much of the city as possible,” says Roy Grant, head of ICT, City of York Council. “With that in mind, one of our key requirements was for scalability so that we can avoid having to reinvest in core infrastructure in the future.”

The council wanted the access points be as aesthetically pleasing as possible and cause minimum disruption due to the number of listed buildings in the city’s medieval centre. Access points have mainly been deployed using lampposts because of the readily-available power supply and the network was up and running in a matter of days.

Ruckus was chosen because of its ability to meet these requirements, with its weather-resistant access points and antenna technology used for reliable and consistent coverage and Ruckus ZoneDirector management platform used to monitor the network.

“The things that set the Ruckus solution above its competitors are its minimal impact on the environment, its scalability, and the way it offers very granular management so we can actually improve the user experience without negatively affecting power consumption,” explains Grant. “Ruckus access points are very self-aware so they can adjust their power consumption automatically.”

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