Residents and visitors to Middlesbrough town centre will soon have access to fast, efficient WiFi connectivity, thanks to commercial IT experts Cornerstone Business Solutions.
The Stockton-based firm will join forces with Middlesbrough Council to roll out the free outdoor WiFi service that will allow anyone to log on while on the go.
The outdoor network will not only allow town centre visitors to surf the net and use their email but will enable the council to communicate important messages to the public.
Describing the five-figure contract win as “a major coup”, Cornerstone director Chris Bibby revealed the firm would look to provide a similar service to more local authorities across the North East and beyond.
“This is our first council contract but it won’t be our last,” said Chris.
“Middlesbrough is showing real vision in leading the way as the first Tees Valley council to install free outdoor WiFi.
“We’re delighted to have won such a prestigious contract right on our doorstep.
“We’re looking forward to working closely with Middlesbrough Council and our technology partners to roll out a public WiFi solution that I’m sure will be much appreciated by residents and visitors to the town’s central areas.”
The public WiFi, which is scheduled to go live in August, will involve Cornerstone installing 20 access points dotted around Middlesbrough town centre area including Centre Square, Albert Road, Corporation Road, the Southfield Road student district and the Baker Street and Bedford Street regeneration zone.
Twenty small devices comprising the latest technology will be installed on existing street furniture.
Chris added: “A good, strong WiFi connection that’s free of charge can only be a good thing, whether you’re checking the opening times of your favourite shop, taking a peek at a restaurant menu, looking up the bus timetable or simply following the latest news while you’re on the move.
“While shoppers will naturally benefit, there’s no intention to focus only on retail-heavy areas. The council is also keen to improve the WiFi experience wherever people gather and socialise in the central part of the town.
“But it will also allow the council to promote their own services, events and important notices via the splash page through which the public will initially sign in each time they use the WiFi service.
“The benefits are endless really.”
Chris, who runs Cornerstone with fellow directors Chris Petty, Chris Clark and John Storey, revealed the firm had won the contract ahead of a number of experienced IT and WiFi specialists.
“We’re delighted the council was impressed with our tender, which involves analytics that will allow the council to keep a check on the system’s usage and overall experience.
“From our point of view, it’s a fantastic opportunity to show off Cornerstone’s expertise. It will provide a perfect case study for us to approach more local authorities across the country.”
Founded in 2008, in the middle of the global recession, Cornerstone has achieved a record £2m turnover and increased its workforce to 25, while targeting expansions into Aycliffe and Leeds.
Along with being official technology partner for Middlesbrough Football Club, the firm’s long-term contracts include Durham Tees Valley Airport, Camerons Brewery, Tecnicas Reunidas, Punch Robson Solicitors, Endeavour Partnership, TTE and Bedale-based Heck Sausages, while recent wins include Active Chartered Financial Planners.
Cornerstone also boast partnerships with such leading brands as Microsoft, Apple, HP, Lenovo, Vmware, ESET, Malware Bytes and Redstore.