Council to scrap free public wifi in Enniskillen

THE COUNCIL is considering getting rid of its free public wifi in Enniskillen, because it costs too much money and has poor service.
It then plans to carry out research to see if anyone actually wants it or not.
Councillors will be asked at meeting of the policy and resources committee at the Townhall to adopt a recommendation to suspend the current free wifi provision in the town centre.
The Council, which is currently reviewing its wifi provision in the county, plans to continue providing public wifi its buildings, such as the Ardhowen Theatre and the Marble Arch Caves. However, in addition to suspending the Enniskillen service, it is also asking councillors to approve the removal of its digital kiosks in Belleek, Derrylin, Irvinestown, Kesh, Lack, and Newtownbutler.
“The increasing cost of supporting public wifi, improving technology requiring more frequent upgrading of hardware, challenges posed by cybersecurity risks, and increased availability of affordable data allowances with personal mobile contracts provide the rationale for this review,” said a spokesman.
The spokesman said it was a challenge to provide high-quality coverage over a wide area, in an era when peoples’ expectations and needs are raised as technology improves.
They added the more people that used the service the lower its bandwidth and the poorer the network speed.
“This is more prevalent in open areas, such as Enniskillen town centre, rather than public buildings where the coverage is confined and the numbers accessing it may be more limited,” said the spokesman.
On top of this, there is currently no public wifi in Omagh and if the service in Enniskillen, which is plagued by network issues, is continued the Council will have to invest in a similar service in the Tyrone county town.
The Council is recommending carrying out further research into public demand for a more reliable service in the town after the current service is suspended.

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