Wrexham Council is upgrading its CCTV camera network with the added bonus of free wi-fi for the area’s residents.
Installation teams are currently at work throughout the town, with wi-fi aerials appearing alongside the new cameras.
“Cameras currently being installed are the new HD cameras with wireless connectivity. There will be 24 going up and they will create the new wi-fi hotspots across the town centre,” a statement from the local authority explained.
“We will be offering a limited amount of free wi-fi per day for residents, visitors etc. We hope to have the system fully operational by September,” it added.
The council has already carried out a £250,000 upgrade to the CCTV control centre and upgrading the cameras and enabling the wireless network will cost £400,000.
It is expected that the move to wireless CCTV will create savings on the cost of the BT line rental, which currently stands at £82,000 a year for the existing old cameras.
Funding for the CCTV/wi-fi upgrade is coming from capital funding allocated by Wrexham Council - £158,000 comes from the Assets and Economic department and £169,000 comes from the Vibrant and Viable Places project.
It is expected that the project will fall under the Vibrant and Viable Places project heading of “Redefining the town centre,” as the wi-fi networks are predicted to enable a more digital friendly town for residents and visitors.
There is also the possibility that the new system could be monetised after a council report said “it will also provide the council with a significant amount of analytical information, such as footfall, demographic of visitors and shopping patterns.”