SURFING the web will soon be a lot easier after plans to install free WiFi in Stratford town centre were revealed.

BID manager Karen Wild said the move had been backed by the majority of town centre businesses and would allow people to embrace the ‘digital age.’

It means everyone from business to shoppers and tourists to visitors to the town will be able to get online for free.

Karen said: “We carried out a survey in August and 85 per cent said they would like BID to invest in town-wide free WiFi.

“Such a scheme will bring obvious positives to the many thousands who visit our town whether it’s on business, part of a leisure break or on a shopping trip.

“The service will also be a boost to shops and businesses in Stratford as it will provide information on those using the WiFi, allowing traders to see key statistics including how long people stay in town and how often they visit.

“In addition, it will allow Stratforward to message users about various upcoming events and promotions to keep visitors up-to-date with the latest information.

“These messages will be scheduled, however to make sure users aren’t bombarded with information and they will have the option to opt out of the service.”

The system, which went live in November 2015, will be installed by Midlands-based ElephantWiFi. The company has already worked with Warwickshire County Council, Rugby Borough Council and Rugby First – setting up free town WiFi throughout Rugby town centre to coincide with the Rugby World Cup.

The project will also be supported financially by Warwickshire County Council, which is looking to roll out ElephantWiFi across the county’s main town centres.

County Council leader Izzi Seccombe said: “The introduction of free and fast public access WiFi is about equipping our town centres with the technology infrastructure for the future.

“The way we use our town centres is changing and we recognize visitors want to browse the internet, use email and social media while they are going about their business.

“By embracing this trend, we can help to enhance the visitor experience in the town centre, which means they will want to spend longer there and this in turn will not only make our town centres more vibrant but also, more economically viable.”

Karen Wild