'Smart Town' Initiative
The Free Community WiFi system, developed and managed by the Development Trust, has been in operation since early 2011 and is now an established feature of the Marlborough Town Centre as well as many of the surrounding villages, including extensive coverage in Avebury.
It is however very much positioned for ‘casual use’ i.e. allowing users to catch up with their email and to do some ‘light’ web browsing.
The next stage of development that is envisaged, now aims to increase the WiFi service coverage in Marlborough (in terms of locations, node density, operational resilience, etc.) so that the service can be relied upon to a much higher degree. It will then be able to allow web based business, tourism and civic applications to confidently exploit it, i.e. it can support a range of activities that would let Marlborough start to become a so-called ‘Smart Town’.
The concept of smart towns and cities has been around for a number of years, and what actually defines a ‘Smart Town’ is somewhat fluid! The essential premise behind the designation however is that providing ready access to the Internet makes any aspect of a digital economy more ‘frictionless’ and therefore lets it grow more quickly.
From Marlborough’s perspective, our digital economy should embrace not only tourism, and commercial retailing, but also public services as well as community led initiatives such as citizen science projects – all of which collectively will create a ‘Smart Town’.
The first stage of the Development Trust's Smart Town initiative therefore is to further expand and extend the Community WiFi so as to enable the future development and deployment of appliocations that drive our digital economy.
An initial discussion paper for the project can be downloaded from here.
All the Community WiFi information pages:
WiFi Passport Vouchers: click here for details about the annual WiFi Passport Vouchers.