As part of Andover BID’s pledge to its business members, it is to bring FREE Wi-Fi to the town centre with the aim of encouraging more people to come into the area. Combined with a state-of-the-art ability to accurately measure footfall as people leave and enter the town, the system which is successfully operational in over 50 other towns and cities around the UK, allows visitors to the town centre to enjoy FREE Wi-Fi. The Wi-Fi will be provided free to anyone who visits the town centre and signs up, keeping people connected whilst saving their own data! Alerts will be provided about anything happening in the town, car parking, special offers and promotions from retailers and businesses in the town centre and be kept up to date with news of what’s on and a guide to the latest events or to just enjoy free Wi-Fi. Steve Godwin, BID manager explains how it works: “Andover has so much to offer but often people just don’t know enough about it or what is going on. Free wi-fi for users is always attractive and when a person enters the zone, ‘Totally Free Wi-Fi’ will pop up on their mobile device. They will then be able to register for a free account through a simple form or social media login and for use by all visitors, shoppers, traders and workers within the BID geographical area of the town. As well as getting everyone connected, by offering free Wi-Fi we can ensure that users are made aware of BID member promotions. Andover town centre offers a wide range of shops, a range of leisure facilities including a new leisure centre, an excellent theatre, a bowling alley, a cinema and a library. Having the ability to offer free Wi-Fi is a significant step in further meeting our visitor needs as well as providing new opportunities for local businesses to reach out to customers in a coordinated way. It is so important in this age of social media and online communities to give local people and visitors free Wi-Fi in the town centre to help provide a positive experience and a benefit for everyone coming into the centre. Businesses including retailers, pubs and restaurants and leisure facilities will have the ability to promote anything they are doing including promotions, offers and loyalty schemes. Once we have a fully digitally connected town, we can do so much more to enhance the visitor experience” The tender has gone live inviting companies to apply for the contract and it is hoped the system will be live in the town before Christmas.