Free public access Wifi is going live in market towns across Huntingdonshire to help residents keep connected and bolster local businesses through the dark days of Covid.
CambWifi has just gone live in St Neots and will be available in St Ives, Ramsey and Huntingdon town centres this autumn, bringing users safe internet access when they are out and about.
The secure public access wifi network is being rolled out as part of the Connecting Cambridgeshire programme through the collaboration and investment of local authorities, recognising the importance of digital connectivity for everyone at this time.
CambWifi is provided by Cambridgeshire County Council with the support of Huntingdonshire District Council, and additional funding for market towns from Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority.
In St Neots, free CambWifi can now be accessed in the Market Square, along the High Street, on New Street (up to the Museum) and is also available at St Neots Library. It’s safe and simple to join in a few short steps* via CambWiFi_Public
Welcoming the launch of free CambWifi, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority Mayor James Palmer said: "Public access wifi has an important part to play in supporting struggling high streets and will help to bolster economic recovery from COVID-19 by encouraging people to shop locally and to support local businesses.
"The Combined Authority is investing in digital connectivity for our market towns now and for the future. We hope the free wifi will bring a bit of good cheer during these dark days of COVID."
Cambridgeshire County Council Chair of Highways and Transport, Cllr Ian Bates, said: "CambWifi is already available in over 150 public sites across Cambridgeshire and we’re expanding the network so that more people can get online in village halls, public buildings, open spaces and town centres around the county.
"The COVID-19 pandemic has made us all more reliant on internet services to keep in touch. It’s vital that people can keep connected to get the support they need, particularly where mobile coverage is poor or people cannot afford internet subscriptions."
Huntingdonshire District Council Leader, Cllr Ryan Fuller, said: "This is a significant step for Huntingdonshire and a vital part of our digital strategy, working with Connecting Cambridgeshire, to help make our market towns fit for the future and to ensure their long-term prosperity.
"St Neots is the biggest market town in the County and it has a bright future. The launch of free CambWifi follows HDC's £12 million St Neots transformation bid and the news that the town is the first in Huntingdonshire set to benefit from future-proof fibre to the premises broadband technology over the next two years as part of Openreach’s Fibre Cities programme."
St Neots Mayor, Cllr Stephen Ferguson, said: "I am delighted that the County Council and the Combined Authority have extended CambWifi to St Neots, which will allow residents and visitors to browse the internet for free while visiting our lovely town.
"As we strive towards a more connected society, this investment will make St Neots a more pleasant place to shop, work and play, and will mean that anyone with access to a mobile phone, tablet or computer can connect to the internet without incurring expensive data costs."
Visit Connecting Cambridgeshire to find a map and list of CambWifi sites across the county, plus frequently asked questions.
Call at the CambWifi stall at St Neots Farmer’s Market on Saturday 10 October, 9am to 1pm, to register for CambWifi and find out about help available to improve your digital skills.
How to access CambWifi
It’s safe and simple to join:
- Find CambWiFi_Public in your wifi settings and connect
- Enter your name and email address, accept the terms and 'Register'
- A new web page will open. Click the 'Login' button. The page will refresh and send you to the Connecting Cambridgeshire website's CambWifi page (Please note: If you are logging in through a mobile phone or tablet you can click 'Done' to close the screen, but you are still not fully logged in)
- Check your email* within 10 minutes and verify your email by clicking 'click here' in the email. *You may need to check your Junk mail
- A new login page will open up - click 'Connect' and you are now connected!
You will now be logged on automatically when you are in a CambWifi location.