Free Wi-Fi in Sheffield city centre: when and where will you be able to get online?

The Star revealed yesterday how free Wi-Fi is to be rolled out across Sheffield city centre from next May.

Tuesday, 28th November 2017, 1:08 pm
Updated Tuesday, 28th November 2017, 1:13 pm
Free Wi-Fi will first be available around Sheffield's shopping district and the city's theatres

Further details of exactly when, where and how people will be able to get online have now been released.

Here's what you need to know:

When will the wireless access become available?

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The public service, which is being provided by Idaq Networks as part of a contract with Sheffield Council, is due to go live in four stages between May next year and the end of November 2018.

Where will it be available?

Free Wi-Fi will eventually be available throughout the majority of the city centre, but it will be introduced in different areas under the following timetable, with all dates estimated.

END OF MAY 2018: Theatre District/Retail Zone, including Fargate, Moor, Tudor Square, Peace Gardens and Pinstone Street

END OF JULY 2018: Entertainment Zone/New Retail Quarter, including West Street, Division Street and Wellington Street

END OF SEPTEMBER 2018: Arrivals Zone, including the area around the railway and bus stations, Sheffield Hallam University and Ponds Forge

END OF NOVEMBER 2018: Cultural Industries/Devonshire Quarter

* other areas may follow, depending on demand. It is hoped wireless access will also be available in council-owned building like the Winter Garden

How will you be able to access the Wi-Fi?

Internet access will be entirely free of charge for members of the public, with no time limits for usage, but they will have to register and complete an authentication process.

Idaq will also offer commercial wireless broadband services to the residents and businesses of Sheffield city centre.

How is the scheme being funded?

The council will space on its lamp posts and potentially other structures for Idaq to install the necessary equipment.

Idaq will be able to sell commercial access to the network, advertising on the log-in portal and data generated from the registration process.

In return, it will provide free public Wi-Fi access.

The council invited 27 companies to bid to provide the service but said only two applied, of which Idaq's proposal was the best.