Free public WiFi is now available to anyone visiting Faringdon town centre as a result of a partnership between The Vale of White Horse District Council, STL Communications and RSJ UK.

The scheme is being delivered by STL Communications, with Ruckus Wireless equipment supplied by RSJ UK and its social WiFi partner, Purple WiFi, and hosted by Faringdon Town Council and Marriotts estate agents. The scheme was funded and project managed by Vale of White Horse district council.

The social WiFi installation, which covers the Market Place, allows shoppers to enjoy free, secure WiFi whilst they browse the market. Additionally it provides them with easily accessible information about local services and attractions, encouraging them to explore the town. The council is using the WiFi solution to send e-shots which inform visitors about the town’s vibrant programme of events, including the artisan market, a free music festival called FollyFest and open days at Faringdon Folly Tower. Users simply log in via a social media account or by filling out a short form and there’s no need to remember usernames and passwords, as they’re automatically logged in on subsequent visits.

By implementing the Purple WiFi solution, RSJ UK has delivered an intuitive guest WiFi service which includes real-time analytics. Access to information such as age, gender and dwell time means that the Town Council can understand consumer behaviour in the Market Place and use this data to communicate relevant, targeted messages to WiFi users, sharing local information, highlighting promotions and rewarding loyalty.

Richard Mumford, owner of RSJ UK, said: “We are delighted to have worked with STL Communications and the district council to bring WiFi connectivity to the centre of Faringdon. It is our hope that the network will prove to be a valuable resource in supporting the council’s work, increasing engagement with the local community and encouraging visitors to explore Faringdon.”

As businesses in the town centre do not currently have access to superfast broadband, the scheme is fully supported by Faringdon Chamber of Commerce. The WiFi will provide speeds of up to 14Mbps, which is considerably faster than the broadband service. It will enable visitors to check emails, access useful information and simply update their social media status while they move around the area. The Council and shoppers will also feel safe in the knowledge that Purple WiFi, which is a member of the Internet Watch Foundation, follows online best practice by implementing content filtering to protect online visitors from potentially abusive or offensive website access.

Councillor Elaine Ware, cabinet member for economic development at the Vale of White Horse District Council, commented: “The free public WiFi will offer visitors more freedom to access local information, catch up with work or just go online whilst they are having a coffee. We hope that people will make the most of the new service, use it to find out more about the local area and hopefully spend more time in the centre of Faringdon.”

Gavin Wheeldon, CEO of Purple WiFi commented: “We are delighted that we are able to expand our fast growing city centre and high street customer base with the addition of Faringdon. RSJ UK and Ruckus Wireless are a valued part of our partner network and we look forward to working on more projects like this one in future.”