On Thursday, October 15 Meath County Council Cathaoirleach Cllr David Gilroy with Chief Executive Jackie Maguire, Cathaoirleach of Kells Municipal District Cllr Paul McCabe, Meath County Council Broadband Officer Cormac McCann, Brendan Muldoon from SP Muldoon & Co. Chartered Accountants and Trish McDonnell from County Meath Chamber gathered at the courthouse in Kells to welcome the availability of public Wifi in Kells town streetscape.
Kells town centre is the first recipient of this major investment by Meath County Council with the backing of the European Commission’s WIFI4EU programme and the Department of Rural & Community Development. The WIFI4EU programme sees the investment of over €120 Million across the European Union to support the introduction of freely accessible high speed broadband.
Meath County Council secured up to €120,000 in funding and is delivering the network in collaboration with County Meath Chamber. The launch of the Kells WiFi service will benefit both Kells residents and businesses, as well as tourists to the town. Providing Wi-Fi has been shown to provide significant advantages for businesses including increased foot traffic, increased time spent on premises and increased consumer spend.
Speaking at the launch Cathaoirleach of Kells MD, Cllr. Paul McCabe said “The traders in Kells have been very proactive in coming forward to support the initiative. S.P. Muldoon, Alliance Auctioneers, The Book MARKet, Essentials and Love Nature Health Food Shop are all hosting WIFI hotspots in an effort to support the development and promotion of the town. Other hotspots are available at the Fair Green car park, Kells Library, Kells Town Hall and the Tourist Office.”
Paula McCaul from County Meath Chamber welcomes the development of free public Wi-Fi across the county saying “Connectivity is key in this era of digitalisation and Meath Chamber are proud to collaborate with businesses in Kells and Meath County Council in delivering phase one of what will be a county wide free public Wi-Fi scheme. As the scheme rolls out in this phase to other large towns in Meath we will continue to engage with businesses, find the optimum hotspot locations and help them get maximum benefit from the scheme.”
Cormac McCann, Broadband Officer for Meath County Council wanted to thank the traders in Kells and many sections of the Council who have supported the initiative providing access to locations to make the project successful. He also added “Free public WIFI will bring several benefits for traders, residents and visitors to the town. Public Wi-Fi is an opportunity to ease some of the congestion on the 3G and 4G networks, enabling improved voice services”.
Users will be able to access the network by switching on the Wi-Fi on their device and joining the WIFI4EU network. Cormac adds “the free public Wi-Fi network will be rolled out in Navan, Ashbourne, Trim, Dunshaughlin, Dunboyne and Ratoath in the coming months. Bearing in mind the COVID restrictions we look forward to securing the support of traders in these towns to deliver the same network throughout the county.”
Concluding Ms. McCaul added “Given the plethora of challenges facing business at present I urge the public to get behind the free Wi-Fi scheme in Kells and to take advantage of it. Use it to support local business, use it to shop local, use it for click and collect, use it to familiarise yourself with the wide
variety and choice of businesses and services in Kells which need your support at this time. Use it to your advantage, to enhance, extend and further enjoy your experience of shopping in Kells.”