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Knowledge Community in Galway based on Derry's Wireless City model


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Service:
Knowledge Community in Galway based on Derry's Wireless City model
Digital Agenda Category:
High Speed Broadband
Service Type:
Action Plan
Status:
Operational
Producing Project:
PIKE
Implementing Region:
Galway County
Implementing Organisation:
Galway County Council
This Action Plan aims to outline how Galway County Council can facilitate the further development of Broadband Services in County Galway and increase the use of e-based services by the inhabitants of County Galway, visitors to County Galway and businesses in County Galway. Using broadband based services to transform County Galway into an e-society is an objective of Galway County Council as it offers an opportunity to develop a more sustainable and environmentally friendly society. It is envisaged that the development of an e-culture in County Galway will be a key strategy to achieve balanced development of the County and counteract the forces of increased urbanization that are influencing the development of the County at present.

The research carried out to examine the potential for transferring the Good Practice from Derry to County Galway has shown that the county area is on par with Derry in regard to two elements of the Good Practice, namely the Wireless Campus and Wireless Council, and significantly behind in regard to the Wireless Walls aspect. However this is to be expected as this exercise is trying to develop a rural model from an urban model of good practice. Participation in this knowledge transfer project has demonstrated to Galway County Council that creating wireless meshes in rural areas is neither practical nor likely to generate enough demand to be sustainable. This represents valuable learning from the Good Practice in Derry. Without having anchor users on the networks developed, it is unlikely that the volume from personal consumption or tourist activity would justify the cost of developing rural wireless meshes. The volumes in a city the size of Derry have been limited and hence it is unlikely that small rural towns and villages could generate traffic of any significance.

Provision of Citizen Information and Services Network

Galway County Council has a network of Libraries that are located throughout the county. We will use this network to provide wireless hot spots through out the rural parts of the county. By providing hot desks within these libraries, it will be possible for local people to access broadband speeds in their locality at a minimal cost to the state. Harnessing this network of public infrastructure should enable greater access to broadband services for rural communities in a social context.

Virtual Business Support Service
Business hot desks will be provided in the library branches to enable local micro-enterprises access broadband services with no investment costs. It is envisaged that registered businesses can access the wireless services through using their own laptops in the library branches. The initial login page will direct them to an enterprise support webpage which will outline the range of business supports available to them by enterprise development organisations.

Virtual Tourism Information Offices
T
he hotspots can also be used by visitors to the town/village to access broadband services and hence this will convert these libraries into virtual tourist offices. Tourists will be able to access tourism and cultural websites that provide information on local attractions and activities in order  to enrich their visit to the area and increase the time spent in the local area. This should increase revenue in these areas.

Galway County Council will develop a generic and distinctive brand for these community hot spots and will promote their availability widely so that citizens and visitors alike are aware of the service available.

We can see that elements of the Good Practice are in place in County Galway and continue to be developed. The priority now is to provide access to broadband services to the areas currently not serviced as efficiently as possible.

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