#DIF12 – Dublin City to launch free Wi-Fi in 20 locations in mid-October

21 Sep 2012

Lord Mayor of Dublin Mr Naoise Ó Muirí delivers the opening address at the Digital Ireland Forum in Dublin. Photo by Conor McCabe Photography

Dublin City is to roll out free public Wi-Fi at 20 parks and locations across the city in mid-October during Innovation Week, the Lord Mayor of Dublin Mr Naoise Ó Muirí told the Digital Ireland Forum in Dublin this morning.

The Lord Mayor told the forum he wants to see Dublin become an exemplar digital city but reminded the audience that every capital city, from London to Mexico City, has the same ambition.

He said one of the first steps will be Wi-Fi but not just free Wi-Fi, actually ensuring the city makes practical use of it.

“There will be 20-plus installations in public parks around the city and we are hoping to launch it during Innovation Week in mid-October.

“The key for the city is we don’t just want to build it, the city should be building it and using it.

“We should be using these new networks to make our parks safer, for example. We should be using it to make people aware of what’s going on in the park.

“If the city is truly into digital – what are we doing with it in a practical way?” the Lord Mayor said.

The Lord Mayor, an engineer by profession who also runs his own technology company, said he was also trying to influence change in how Dublin City manages itself.

“The city is bureaucratic; it’s a big organisation and as such it is hard to get the flow of ideas moving,” the Lord Mayor said, citing The Irish Times’ current strategy of embedding start-ups in the organisation as a brilliant way of introducing positive disruption to an organisation.

The Lord Mayor also said he has been lobbying to introduce 100Mbps synchronous broadband across the city.

“Many of the more connected cities in the world have that and that’s what we want,” he said.

Watch a video of Lord Mayor of Dublin Mr Naoise Ó Muirí’s opening address here.

More coverage of the Digital Ireland Forum here.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years