Nationally, Northern Ireland benefits from the highest density of Fibre Optic Cables and has one of the lowest telecoms charges in Europe. Northern Ireland has a new 40-gigabit per second transatlantic and terrestrial communications system and 100% of its population has access to broadband services.
Ards and North Down Borough Council is committed to encouraging and supporting economic growth, empowering local communities and improving the lifestyles of our residents, all of which will derive benefit from improved broadband services.
The Council has already benefitted from the Connection Vouchers scheme in 2015 and from DARD Rural Broadband funding to improve connectivity in the Borough.
Ards and North Down Borough Council provides free public Wi-Fi in its five towns, Bangor, Newtownards, Comber, Holywood & Donaghadee. The Wi-Fi is provided in the outdoor public spaces and mirrors the areas in each town which also received new public realm scheme. Visitors and shoppers as well as local users can all avail of this free service.
A £50,000 investment funded by the European Union and the Department for Agriculture and Rural Development, through Axis 4 of the European Fisheries Fund, administered by the South East Area (SEA) European Fisheries Fund in providing free WiFi to the Harbour area in Portavogie. This offers a much needed communication channel for fishermen while they are in the harbour.
On-line communication is also key to presenting interesting stories, activities and local business information to visitors, through mobile devices.