With access to the internet and technology more important than ever, a brand-new scheme is set to bring free WiFi connection to a town centre in Anglesey, thanks to Menter Môn.
From April, Patrwm, the free WiFi service will be available to people when they visit Llangefni. The aim is to put a reliable broadband connection in place for shoppers who come to the town centre. The system can also track how people move around the town, how long they spend on the high street and in the shops, with data shared on the Patrwm website. It is hoped that the information gathered will allow for more effective planning of the high street in the future based on people’s habits.
Sioned Morgan Thomas is Project Director with Menter Môn, she explains:
“We’re all so reliant on having access to an internet connection these days – it’s essential to so many aspects of our lives. This has become more apparent during the pandemic with most of us using the internet to stay in touch with friends and family, for work and to search information. But connectivity and data can be expensive and 4G is not always reliable.
“So, we were pleased to support Llangefni to try and overcome some of these challenges, in particular as our offices are right in the centre of the town. I hope this will be a boost to businesses and will help people get online as well as attract more people to the centre of Llangefni.”
Ieuan Wyn Jones on behalf of Grŵp Adfywio Llangefni said:
“We welcome this investment in the town – it will certainly make a difference to businesses and ensure that people who visit Llangefni have free access to broadband whilst they are here.
“The fact that the system can track the number of people who visit Llangefni is also important part of this project. It will allow us you plan services and business based on people’s needs and based on who comes into the town and what they do when they are here.”
Estate agent Dafydd Hardy has an office in the centre of Llangefni. He welcomes the scheme:
“I’m happy to see this project launched here in Llangefni. I hope it will help businesses, who have already had a difficult 12 months, attract more people into the town centre. I look forward to seeing how the scheme develops.”
In terms of town planning the system can help when decisions are made regarding signage and measuring the effect of events or a new shop on the high street. It can also help businesses that are considering setting up in Llangefni decide on suitable locations.
A workshop is to be held for the town’s businesses to learn more about Patrwm and how to analyse and use the data it produces. If the scheme is a success the hope is to extend the project to other towns and villages across Anglesey in 2021/22.
Menter Môn is keen to point out that no personal data will be gathered and that the system complies fully with GDR regulations.