Digital connectivity is becoming an essential utility for modern life – whether you use it for work, shopping, socialising or accessing public services.
The Connecting Cambridgeshire programme, led by Cambridgeshire County Council, is supporting ‘Get Online Week’, from 14th -18th October, to highlight how people can make the most of internet access and improve their digital skills.
Visitors to Ely Market and Soham town centre are being reminded that free public access Wi-Fi is available when they are out and about, and is helping to boost business as market traders can take online payments.
Shoppers and tourists visiting the Get Online Week stall on Ely Market on Thursday 17th October can get advice about using the free Wi-Fi, how to check their broadband speeds, and find out about local courses and clubs to help them get online.
There’s a free prize draw for a £100 tablet computer and other giveaways, funded by Good Things Foundation, the charity behind Get Online Week.
The free Wi-Fi networks in Ely and Soham were launched last year by Enterprise East Cambs (the economic development division of East Cambridgeshire District Council) working with local specialist company Air Broadband, and supported by the Connecting Cambridgeshire programme, as a trial for rolling out public access Wi-Fi to other market towns.
Market traders in Ely have welcomed the free Wi-Fi service and have asked for it to be extended. One said: “I use the Wi-Fi to take payments via my credit card reader. I believe it gives my customers more choice … it seems to work very well.”
Councillor David Brown, Chairman of the Finance and Assets Committee at East Cambridgeshire District Council, said: “The addition of free Wi-Fi not only benefits local market traders, but local residents and those who need to access the internet while they are out and about. We’re delighted to have rolled out free Wi-Fi in Ely and Soham and have plans to introduce this further throughout the district in the future.”
Depending on your location, look for “Ely-Free-Wifi” or “Soham-Free-Wi-Fi” on the list of available networks on your device and click “Connect” to get online. Market Traders in Ely have a separate, password protected, network of their own. Find out more here.
Free CambWifi, provided by Cambridgeshire County Council, is also available in over 150 public buildings across the county, including libraries, council offices and children’s centres, and is used to support a range of digital skills activities.
More information is available on the Connecting Cambridgeshire website https://www.connectingcambridgeshire.co.uk/public-wifi/
Help to get online in Cambridgeshire
Cambridgeshire Libraries have Digital Buddy volunteers and Assisted Digital staff who can help with IT queries and filling in online forms. There are also Tea and Tablets social groups, and a range of creative digital activities on offer. Find out more about online library services.
Cambridgeshire Skills formerly Cambridgeshire Adult Learning and Skills Service, offers IT among its Basic Skills courses and a range of vocational courses designed to help people find work or change employment. Courses are free for adults aged 19+ who have lived in the EEA for at least three years and who are unemployed or low waged and in receipt of active benefits. Find out more at www.cambsals.co.uk
Press release from Cambridgeshire County Council