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Submission + - Former UK mining town hoping to crowdfund free WiFi service->

Qedward writes: Mansfield in Nottinghamshire could become the first UK town to crowdfund its own free Wi-Fi service.

The former mining town’s business improvement district (BID) hopes to use crowdfunding to create a Wi-Fi hotspot that spans its entire town centre.

Using Spacehive.com, a web platform devoted to civic improvement, BID hopes to persuade local businesses to crowdfund £38,000 for the digital overhaul.

This money will allow Mansfield District Council to install free Wi-Fi transmitters on lamp posts across the town. Public spaces will also be adorned with QR codes, providing information on the latest shopping, offers, events and attractions, when scanned using a smartphone.

Sarah Nelson, manager of Mansfield BID, added that embracing the internet could help drive up footfall and encourage more growth in local enterprise. This is in line with the government's aim to improve digital inclusion throughout the UK.

Mansfield has until 1 May 2013 to meet its target of £38,000. If the target is not met by that time, no money will exchange hands. At the time of writing, a total of £5,501 had been pledged by 21 funders.

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Former UK mining town hoping to crowdfund free WiFi service

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