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Belleville connects with free wi-fi downtown

Free wi-fi and data analytics system digitalizes Front Street. Photo By City of Belleville

By Rhythm Rathi [1]

BELLEVILLE – Downtown Belleville is installing a free wi-fi [2] system for visitors shopping along Front Street.

The system also collects anonymous data analytics to contribute towards strategic planning and marketing efforts for local businesses.

The type of data collected includes street traffic, unique visitors, average time spent lingering on the street and visitor return percentage.

Belleville’s Development and Tourism Coordinator [3] Elisha Purchase confirmed that the infrastructure is now set-up. You can access the wi-fi between the southern point of City Hall north to the intersection at Front and Pinnacle Streets.

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Purchase says free wi-fi will be an asset which can enhance the customer experience.

She says in today’s digitally driven world, having a wi-fi connection will help people have a positive experience during their visit to downtown.

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The initiative is a partnership project between the City of Belleville, the Downtown District [6] and  Bay of Quinte Tourism [7].

Purchase says the project was on a priority list that was submitted to receive provincial funding.  

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Purchase says the project was well planned, and the city is confident that the speed or quality of the connection should not be an issue for the users. Several access points were installed to cater to the visitor traffic throughout Front Street, she said.

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The users will be prior notified about the kind of data that the system collects.

There will be a log-in page which will inform every user about the kind of data that will be tracked, and he/she will have to approve it before accessing the service, said Purchase.

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“The ability to provide free wi-fi to shoppers and dining guests is a service which will definitely enhance our visitors’ experience but it’s more than that,” said Mayor Mitch Panciuk in a news release.

“We are excited about the analytics software component because it will provide the city and its partners with data that will enable us to build upon our strong points and target our business communications in a more focused and strategic way.”