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Public wifi to be made available in every council building

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By Marc McLean, local democracy reporter
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Public wifi to be made available in every council building

WIFI will be available to the public in every council building across Dumfries and Galloway within the next two months.

A digital upgrade is currently underway and being delivered in two phases to 176 council buildings.

The first phase has seen existing wifi equipment connectivity used where possible to provide public wifi, writes Marc Mclean.

Thereafter, public wifi is to be enabled at a further 36 council offices. The internet connectivity has also been improved and “will deliver a better user experience”, according to council bosses.

This information was released in a digital progress report tabled at the council’s economy and resources committee on Tuesday.

Annandale East and Eskdale Councillor Archie Dryburgh is keen to see this widespread wifi access made available as soon as possible, and asked for details of timescales.

Replying, James Pocock, the council’s business solutions manager, said: “The vast majority of council buildings do have access to public wifi, they have that now.

“I think there are eight buildings that are still to be enabled.

“Our anticipation is that by August of this financial year we will have that complete.”

The report also provided an update on digital provision at schools, confirming the introduction of new promethean panels within classrooms.

These are interactive whiteboards whose touch-sensitive displays, called ActivPanels, promote active engagement in classrooms. They also function as projectors, connecting to desktop devices or tablets through bluetooth, wifi, or screen sharing or mirroring.

The council report states: “Promethean Panels are being rolled out across our schools with the initial rollout due for completion August 2024. The remaining secondaries have been scheduled for summer holidays (Stranraer Academy, Lockerbie Academy, Wallace Hall Academy and Moffat Academy).

“Nurseries – all 45 sites will be offered an interactive panel together with a supply of iPads, which the early years focus group have indicated will be widely used.

“Further increases in bandwidth is being implemented alongside work to improve the network infrastructure in school buildings to use the increased bandwidth effectively.

“All connectivity work in schools is due to be completed by end of June.”

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