Portlaoise Main Street
Portlaoise Main Street is set to be buzzing with free wifi signals for everybody within days.
The Wifi4EU scheme provided free by the European Commission is about to hit the Laois county town as well as all main towns in three Municipal Districts covering the Portarlington to Graiguecullen area and the Mountmellick to Borris-in-Ossory area.
Laois County Council's Broadband Officer is Antoinette Brennan. She announced the start of the service to the May meeting of the Portlaoise Municipal District.
"This gives free access to citizens in public spaces throughout Europe. Each municipal district was given a voucher for €15,000 and it was matched to give €30,000 per municipality, covering equipment and maintenance for the next three years," she said.
A dozen businesses and shops along Main Street agreed to pay for the installation of the discreet small white boxes on their shopfronts that will spread the signal evenly. They include Grainne Dunne Accountants, Gerry Browne Jewellers, The Pantry, Anthem Music, PJ Kavanagh, The Bay Tree Restaurant, Abbott Partners and Chocolate Brown Café as well as at Laois County Council’s public plaza.
It is all set to go live on Wednesday June 1 with a launch in Laois County Council plaza.
There is no requirement to put in a password.
"You will get a notification to say you are in a Wifi free zone then you go in and connect. You can stay on any length you want, but you get disconnected after 12 hours just because it is a secure portal so it stops long downloads," Ms Brennan explained.
Councillors warmly welcomed the service.
"I am absolutely delighted. It is of great benefit to the town and to visitors, thanks to everyone. Make sure that Downtown Portlaoise and Laois Chamber of Commerce know about this," said Cllr Catherine Fitzgerald.
"Thank you to the business people for putting it on their premises, it is great getting it at the start of what we hope is a busy tourist season," agreed Cllr Willie Aird.
"You might have a job getting us into the chamber when we can just sit in the street and log in," joked Cllr Caroline Dwane Stanley.
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