Manchester City Council is opening up digital access in the centre of Manchester thanks to a partnership with JCDecaux UK that will see the existing network of Community Information Panels (CIP digital screens) fitted with Smart City technology including free Wi-Fi in the city centre.

This project will bring free Wi-Fi connectivity to 22 locations across key retail and leisure zones including Deansgate, Piccadilly and Piccadilly Gardens, playing a part in helping the Council meet their ‘Manchester Digital City’ Strategy and sustainability goals to become zero carbon by 2038.

Wi-Fi: The CIPs will be clearly marked with a Wi-Fi symbol and users simply select Manchester City Council Wi-Fi network on their personal devices and follow the prompts. The CIP screens will also carry a launch campaign to promote the free Wi-Fi service available to the public.

Motion sensors: The motion sensors will measure footfall and direction of travel to determine audience levels and trends based on time of day/week/month with data helping to inform the City Council on proposed pedestrianisation projects across the city centre, helping improve walking and cycling accessibility.

Emergency Messaging: Working in partnership with Greater Manchester Police, the CIPs are equipped to provide public service and critical incident messages across the entire city centre network.

We are very pleased to bring this digital technology to Manchester city centre as part of our longstanding partnership with JCDecaux. By bringing this digital connectivity to the city, everyone will have access to free Wi-Fi in the city centre which fits with our ambitions on digital inclusivity to ensure that no-one is left behind.  These advances in smart technology also mean that we are able to use the information it captures to help us improve future planning across a wide range of services, including data which can inform our future active travel plans and should we need it the capability to use the screens with essential messaging. Councillor Tracey Rawlins Executive Member for Environment and Transport at Manchester City Council
I am delighted that this innovative technology, being rolled out by Manchester City Council and JCDecaux UK, has been devised with emergency services in mind. The Community Information Panels are an opportunity to get clear, visible messages out to the public in the City of Manchester quickly and efficiently. In the event of an emergency this approach will support a multi-agency response aimed at saving lives and helping prevent further harm. I would certainly welcome this technology being extended out to other parts of Greater Manchester. Wasim Chaudhry Assistant Chief Constable, Chair of the Local Resilience Forum for Greater Manchester: Chief officers | Greater Manchester Police
We are proud to have enjoyed a 30-year partnership with the City of Manchester and are delighted to be working with Manchester City Council to deliver these technological innovations all funded by advertising, truly showcasing the power of the public screen. This exciting, long-term partnership has enabled us to play our part in helping Manchester meet their Smart City and Sustainability goals, with innovation and technology supporting the city’s ambitions to increase digital inclusion and connectivity. Phil Drye Chief Commercial Development Officer at JCDecaux UK
Assistant Chief Constable Wasim Chaudhry, Councillor Tracey Rawlins, Executive Member for Environment and Transport at Manchester City Council, Phil Drye, Chief Commercial Development Officer at JCDecaux UK

Published in Cities