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News Release - Issued by Pinacl Solutions

CityConnectWiFi live in York City Centre ready for the Tour De France

Visitors and Residents can now enjoy FREE unlimited Wi-Fi whilst out and about in York City Centre. Phase One of the CityConnectWiFi solution from Pinacl Solutions has been rolled out across the city centre and park and ride terminals ready for the Tour De France which comes to York this Sunday, 6th July.

Members of the public can access CityConnectWiFi from any wireless enabled device. The network has been designed to provide sufficient bandwidth (max 1Mbps per device) for a fast and secure user experience.

The Wi-Fi concession has been funded by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), as part of York’s status as one of 22 Super Connected Cities. York businesses can also benefit from Superfast broadband as part of the DCMS Voucher Scheme which enables SME businesses to claim up to £3000 towards their connection fee.

Communications Minister Ed Vaizey said: “This fantastic news marks a remarkable leap forward for connectivity in York and will benefit residents and visitors enormously. We understand that fast and reliable access to the web is now a necessity, not a luxury, and our Super Connected Cities programme was designed to deliver projects just like this. This scheme, together with the vouchers we’ve made available for York businesses to help cover the cost of superfast broadband access, will be a strong driver of growth and a welcome boost to the local economy.”

The expansion of the Public wireless coverage follows on from the success of a pilot Wi-Fi solution which Pinacl installed in Coney Street and St Helens Square, which received over 1 million hits in its first three months of operation.

Due to the historic nature of York, the wireless solution needed to conform to English Heritage guidelines and be as unobtrusive as possible. Pinacl selected their trusted partner Ruckus Wireless, using their award winning ZoneFlex wireless mesh access points, to deliver seamless Wi-Fi coverage even into challenging locations – as only a power supply is required for the wireless mesh AP to operate. AP’s were fitted to the Council’s existing street furniture such as lamp posts to make the solution as aesthetically pleasing as possible with minimal disruption.

Pinacl are also working with Wi-Fi group Purple WiFi as part of the overall solution to deliver a user portal that allows users to access the internet by simply signing in via their social media accounts. Form based access is also available for those without social media.

Mark Lowe, Strategic Relationship Director, Pinacl explained "We are delighted to be launching this exciting service within York, we have a proven ability in wireless solutions and working closely with our partners, Ruckus and Purple WiFi we will be offering a quality and easy to use Wi-Fi service. Local businesses will also be able to benefit from commercial opportunities advertising on the Wi-Fi service - a chance to target the 7 million visitors to York each year”.

Cllr Alexander, leader of City of York Council said: "This unique combination of city centre and strategic transport free Wi-Fi is a huge step forward in our ambitious digital plan to be one of the best connected cities in Europe by 2015. Having access to free Wi-Fi is essential for a thriving business community in today's marketplace. The network will also prove an invaluable resource in supporting the council's work to further understand and monitor how the city centre is used in order for the city to prosper and grow”.

The next phase of the Wi-Fi is set to commence over the coming months, with the final phase completing in November 2015.