WiFi contract mismanagement

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    Council Watcher

    Yet again poor/non-existent contract management has come as an issue with the lack of WiFi. “If” there was was a contract of WiFi linked to the CCTV which subsequently does not work you do one of two things- change supplier and get a refund is if there is a technical problem just get the refund and use somewhere else.
    Why has no one cancelled the contract?
    Why have Welsh Government Audiris not picked up on the issue/
    Whi in the Council is responsible — oh yes it is the same Department and Lead Members that has been “managing” the VVP overall — failed Sprouts, distant in the horizon with Ty Pawb, and dodgy/non existent WiFi– us there not a consistent pattern here.
    Vanity projects that have not or unlikely to deliver either the original specification or become a financial liability for ratepayers.
    It is no winder Wrexham.com cant get unsafe figures- a non-operational.
    Councillor Hugh Jones statement about 4G not being available when the contract was being specified is factually incorrect- the rollout was well underway. Also companies like OCS have been instaling wifi enabled CCTV for a number of years. The project was not unique and therefore technically possible from day one – not “we have called an engineer” to sort a two-year-old problem.



    During the meeting Cllr Rodney Skelland queried what impact the roll out of 4G would have on the usage of CCTV – with the actual systems installed prior to 4G coverage being readily available to near enough everyone with a data contract.
    At the time Cllr Hugh Jones said: “When we went out to contract for the provision of CCTV it was some years ago and 4G wasn’t advanced.”
    “We will review at the end of the three years and see if it something we want to continue with.”

    Couldn’t make this up of course, they are already trying to kill it off before it’s seen any public usage. I’ve got a 4G data plan, but I still use Wi-Fi hotspots in town – I’m able to use both the BT and O2 wi-fi networks due to being customers with them, but there are a few other decent free providers spotted around town.

    The main reasons are:

    1) 4G is unreliable in some parts of town and can become even less so when there are lots of people clustered in a small area. See what happens on matchday for example. Coverage and strength will be different for each of the main providers.

    2) 4G data plans are not unlimited and to pay for loads of data, it’s still quite expensive. Most people only have about 2-4gb of data to use per month. So supplemental Wi-Fi would be welcomed by those who are in town everyday and would otherwise run down their plan quickly.

    I’m only a light data user and I still run out a few days before the end of the month and rely on hotspots frequently.

    Now I’m not suggesting it should be down to the council to feed people’s social media and YouTube habits, but it’s a service they decided to offer, have spent money on and completely failed to deliver.

    Was there any research into different providers and going to check out actual Wi-Fi schemes in other towns to assess its fitness for purpose for our town? Or was it upsold to an overzealous council person in charge of procurement as if it was a movie package on Sky because Wi-Fi was all the rage 2 years ago? It’s all very troubling.

    There are a number of successful schemes running in towns up and down the country, so it can be done. It might even have been worth looking st setting up a commercially competitive system (many partners are available) and charging users for access. If it was any good, people would happily pay for daily, weekly and monthly passes and the ROI would soon bring profits into the old public coffers.

    Then the councillors could go and faff around with their precious iPads all around the town.



    What is it with the council and anything remotely technical?
    All the schemes fall apart.
    Either they are very badly advised, or they’re not listening to, or asking for, the necessary advice.
    Add to that the seeming inability to manage any contract properly and it’s a recipe for disaster.
    A town wide WiFi network should be simple enough, it’s not as if it was anything new even when it was first considered.
    If the contractors hadn’t met the delivery date they should have been sent packing, with no payment. Hopefully the person who comes to look into it will be paid by the supplier, not us.
    The bus stop signage, and now the parking indicators, are all non operational, but still consuming electricity! Along with the old touch screen in the bus station which has been burning the kilowatt hours needlessly for at least five years.
    It annoys me that a sizable chunk of my rates has kept that unnecessarily illuminated for the sake of disconnecting a fuse.

    They want to make cuts but simple, obvious, savings are ignored.

    Isn’t there anyone working for the council that can look into these things without bringing in external contractors.



    What is it with the council and anything remotely technical?
    Isn’t there anyone working for the council that can look into these things without bringing in external contractors.

    It comes across to me there is nobody in the Council capable of looking after ratepayers interests. They get these jobs for life and expect to do little for it. The problems lie at the top and it is hard to change the situation.

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