The businessmen behind a free WiFi service in Chichester have urged people, businesses and institutions to help them make the city “super-connected”.
Part of the plan put in place by the creators of ChiFi is to transform the experience of diners, shoppers and revellers in the city, amongst a whole host of other benefits.
And after a hugely successful launch of the ChiFi solution to poor mobile phone connection in North Street, the system is to be installed in South Street.
Co-founder Henry Brown, from Blaize Wireless, says ChiFi is very much aimed at benefitting the community and, as such, is encouraging people to get onboard.
He explained: “It’s a huge opportunity and we welcome input across the board and if people want to support our initiative we are ready to listen. You can use Chichester city centre WiFi for free or contribute to support CHiFi.
“Your support will ensure that city centre WiFi not only remains a permanent feature in Chichester but also allows us to extend the network to cover the entire city centre and beyond. We have a vision of making Chichester super-connected.”
And the venture will benefit fundraising efforts at Chichester’s prominent homeless charity Stonepillow after the internet entrepreneurs leading the city’s WiFi revolution undertook to offer financial support.
ChiFi was launched by Mr Brown and Ryan Ewen, , CEO of FMG Ltd, at the end of last year to combat the problems phone users were having with connection, caused mainly by the city’s many historic buildings being made of flint with slate roofs.
And Mr Ewen said: “The response to ChiFi has been phenomenal and so we are bringing forward our plans to offer similar coverage in South Street.
“It will cost in the region of £20,000 but when you think of the vast amounts of money being spent elsewhere in the city on plans and consultations for improvement, as opposed to actual improvement, this is small change.
“Obviously the lack of WiFi is more exasperating in South Street and Southgate because of the amount of folk who regularly head there to take advantage of the many restaurants, bars and pubs. As well as, of course, shoppers and browsers. This will transform their experience.
“We are committed to help our community at the same time, so we are contributing a percentage of monies raised to Stonepillow. As a company our ethos is one of social responsibility and what Stonepillow is doing is in line with this.”
Mr Brown volunteers one day a week at Stonepillow. He said: “We are really excited with the partnership with Stonepillow. Our homeless are part of our city and we must strive to help them. There is certainly a synergy between helping to connect the community and at the same time highlighting the obvious needs of the less fortunate in our own society.”