WiFi Trial Update

A report on the WiFi service that has been operating at St Mary’s over the summer.

As the WiFi trial draws to a close I thought I’d share some of the information about how the service has been used.

WiFi Access Point

First off, very few people actually connect to the WiFi – but then it’s hardly advertised so perhaps not surprising.

I think people who bring phones along to church, will tend not to look for free WiFi – it’s too much hassle for a quick look at something on the phone.
People using Ipads, tablets or laptops on the other hand are much more likely to use WiFi if they know it’s there.

The most users of the service during the entire trial has been 10 – on Saturday 19th September. Typical web applications people use are Skype, Facebook, Google, Spotify and email. Apple devices are about twice as popular as Android. Overall usage has been low. Under 1GB of data used, and 33 distinct users in total.

That said, there are about 1500 people passing St Mary’s every day (according to the smartphone signals detected), and around 90 are within reasonable range for 5 minutes or more, so there’s certainly scope of providing a useful service if awareness of the WiFi was higher.

With the anonymous data the system can provide you could ask questions like “Are there more people coming to the First Sunday service this month compared to last month” and get a fair estimate.
One caveat to this data is that it relies on people carrying a modern mobile phone (a smartphone) with them. The congegration at St Mary’s is perhaps not representative of the wider UK population! I must stress that all data is anonymous -there is no way of seeing any personal data of the users of the service.

Finally I was quite interested to see the numbers drop as a service starts – good to see people turning off their phones!

Rex Wickham