Technology link-up boost to historic venues.
Birmingham’s Bull Ring markets are nearly 850 years old but they are the latest hotspots where people can get free Wi-Fi, which has been installed as part of a city-wide scheme.
Birmingham City Council’s project has created free, public Wi-Fi hotspots at 200 public buildings across the city – enabling the public to get online, with staff at many also benefiting in the process.
Shoppers and traders will benefit from the introduction of free Wi-Fi, enabling visitors to check their emails and update social media while enjoying a coffee or browsing the stalls, meanwhile traders can now contact suppliers and order specific items for customers on the spot. This will serve people visiting the 500-plus stalls across the Indoor, Rag and Open markets, as well staff and trading working across the Bull Ring Markets.
Rag Market traders can also pay their pitch rents via an electronic kiosk, which requires an internet connection, at any point during trading. Previously rents would be collected from stall holders but now collectors can log into a database to see who has paid.
Amanda Prosser Davies, Markets Manager for Birmingham City Council, said: “It’s great that the Indoor, Rag and Open Markets can now benefit from free Wi-Fi access as part of this scheme.
“People visiting the markets will also benefit as they can use their own devices while browsing or enjoying a coffee at the markets bringing the markets. As well as being able to liaise directly with suppliers, traders will also be able to maximise their online presence and reach more customers, in Birmingham and beyond.”
The Wi-Fi installation is part of Wireless in Public Building, a project delivered by Birmingham City Council’s Digital Birmingham team and the Government’s Super-Connected Cities Programme.
To access the Wi-Fi, visitors need to register just once. In device settings, select hotspot ID BCC_Free_WiFi and follow the prompt to register when opening a browser page, this includes providing a mobile number to receive your activation code. Afterwards, the device will connect automatically, not just in one building but in all council buildings that have this public Wi-Fi enabled.
Cllr Lisa Trickett, Cabinet Member for Sustainability at Birmingham City Council, added: “This is a great example of how the Wireless in Public Buildings project can benefit both citizens and the services that the council provides to them.
“We should be looking to maximise every opportunity to add value to our services and I am glad that the arrival of Wi-Fi has been embraced so positively by staff at Bull Ring Markets, enabling them to trade online and broaden their customer base.”
To find the nearest council building with public Wi-Fi access, visit http://localview.birmingham.gov.uk/freewifi/