INNOVATIVE plans to use Bournemouth’s street lamps to offer wifi access in public places have been revealed.
As part of a project to replace every single street light bulb with more energy-efficient LEDs, the council also plans to check whether the lights can accept the latest Wi-Fi technology.
If they can, the eventual aim is to provide wifi access across the borough, including the beach and Gardens.
Cllr Michael Filer, right, cabinet member for transport, cleansing and waste, said they wanted wifi accessible in “every road, public place and even the beaches.”
“This could make us literally top of the world in the facilities offered by the town,” he said.
“If we’re able to proceed, we would be amongst the world leaders in this field. It’s all good news.”
He said the possibility was a “bonus” in a scheme that will see all current street lights replaced with 16,627 LEDs.
One thousand mild steel lighting columns will also be replaced and 1,685 lit signs and bollards will be replaced or de-illuminated.
The project will cost £7.73million but £4.26m has been awarded to the council by a government energy projects funding provider. The remaining £3.5m will come from the council’s prudential fund.
Currently the council spends £1.1m a year on street lighting energy but hopes to reduce this by 73 per cent by replacing the street lights. The council is aiming to save £32.2m over 20 years, along with 3,700 tonnes of carbon – the equivalent of 19 per cent of current council emmisions.
The LEDs should also make the streets brighter and safer for residents and visitors.