Free wi-fi is launched across town

Christmas is coming early to Blyth as a free wi-fi trial has been launched in the town centre across the festive period.

The innovative scheme involves wi-fi being fitted onto lampposts and is being carried out as part of the authority’s £23m streetlighting modernisation project.

The areas covered in the trial are along Bridge Street from the junction of Percy Street to the junction of Wanley Street at the other end, including the market place.

The free wi-fi operates in a similar way to that offered in sports centres and libraries in the county as well as shopping centres and fast food restaurants – with people having to log in the first time they use it. After that they will be connected whenever they pass within range.

The wi-fi speed will allow people to look at social media and check websites – rather than provide enough speed to download films or stream live TV. The signal works in a range of about 30 metres from the lampposts.

The council will be monitoring the wi-fi usage and if the pilot proves to be a success, it may be rolled out in other towns across the county.

Coun John Potts, chair of the Blyth Town Council Partnership Board, said: “The council is very pleased that Northumberland County Council has chosen Blyth as a trial site for the free wi-fi and hope that residents will make use of the service when they come to the town centre.”