A great deal of care has been taken to set up this project as it is the most advanced the Parish Council has undertaken. Three companies were contacted for advice, comment and quotations.
The specification has now been agreed with the preferred supplier, Wi-Fi Spark, a company based in Newton Abbot. Wi-Fi Spark has experience of applying Wi-Fi in a town situation such as the one proposed for Chapel Lane. Their clients include a number of hospitals and GP surgeries. The specification has been discussed and agreed at two site meetings with Wi-Fi Smart technicians.
Certain practical difficulties were overcome with help from Sefton MBC officers and councillors. Our thanks to Councillors Dowd, Maher and J.J. Kelly, as well as to Tony Melia and Mark Bond for their input. The main concerns were the line of sight for the small transmitters from the Formby Pool along Chapel lane to the Memorial Garden. The agreed plan utilises the Parish Council’s existing CCTV masts and includes the installation of two additional masts, that are now in position with connected power supplies.
Discussions have taken place with the management of the Pool to allow the connection of a new fibre optic cable specifically installed for this purpose. We are indebted to Mark Ascroft and his team for all their help and advice.
The security of the system has been uppermost in our minds. It has taken a considerable amount of time to ensure that access is controlled and monitored. Restrictions are in place and will be checked thoroughly before commissioning (during the period of ‘soft running’).
Some concerns have also been raised about the effect of the transmissions and possible risks arising from exposure to the signals. Consequently we reviewed the matter once again. The expert advice we have received has confirmed that it will be perfectly safe and electro magnetic waves suggest no proven risk to human health. Most homes have routers, some have smart meters and all rely on a similar frequency range to Wi Fi. Indeed Arriva double decker buses in Liverpool, most coffee bars, supermarkets and hospitals offer this facility to their customers. The Council is seeking to offer the same facility to our traders and residents, and keep Formby ahead of the rest!
The work is almost complete. There have been a number of technical hurdles to overcome and often it has been difficult to get everyone involved together at the same time.
We are most grateful for the patience and perserverence of those involved, and at a site meeting scheduled for later this week, we will be in a position to confirm the July commissioning date.