Ruckus Networks, an ARRIS company, has announced its involvement in Sheffield City’s free-to-use, superfast Wi-Fi project. Working collaboratively with Idaq Networks, who run the network, and Siklu, a leader in millimetre wave radio technology, the project creates a virtual data ring-road around the city, transmitting high-speed capacity between tall buildings, before bringing it down to street level to be used by residents.
The project delivers superfast internet, at 20 gigabits per second (Gbps), to 293 streets in the city and up to 24,000 users can connect simultaneously. The network is free, and at no cost users or to the council who provided exclusive access to street furniture and buildings to install the network. The network can also be leveraged for other commercial opportunities to help fund the service.
As cities across the UK compete to attract tourists and businesses and access the £2.4 billion investment announced during the Autumn budget for the Transforming Cities Fund, free Wi-Fi is an important part of the equation. “Free Wi-Fi networks are crucial to helping all residents engage with the opportunities available online,” explains Mark Gannon, Director, Business Change and Information Solutions (BCIS), Resources Portfolio, Sheffield City Council.