News: Town Turns to Crowdfunding to Pay for Free Wi-Fi Scheme

A town in Nottinghamshire is hoping to reach its goal of free wi-fi for visitors by asking local residents and businesses to chip in for the cost of the service.

The Business Improvement District (BID) partnership in Mansfield has already secured £100,000 from the government to bring free wi-fi to the area, but is taking a leaf out of savvy startups’ books by raising the remaining £38,000 required through crowdfunding.

More than £5000 has already been pledged on the campaign page from residents and businesses keen to draw in visitors with the offer of free wi-fi.

Customers are increasingly demanding free wi-fi from local businesses. In a report released last year, it was revealed that nearly one in five (18%) small businesses had given out their personal wi-fi details to customers so they can access the web from their premises.

Mansfield BID manager Sarah Nelson told the BBC the plan could give Mansfield a boost: “There aren’t many towns that have free wi-fi for visitors.

“People will be able to stay in town a lot longer. They won’t have to rush home to get on the internet”, she said.

Do you offer free wi-fi in your business premises? Let us know in the comments below.

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Kasey writes about the latest small business and website news for bOnline. Find Kasey on Google+, or follow bOnline on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+

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