A Cardiff housing association is planning to roll out a free wi-fi network for all of its tenants.
Elaine Ballard, chief executive of the Taff Housing Association, revealed how the ‘Tai-Fi’ service would benefit their 1,146 properties.
She said: “We want to launch Tai-Fi, so that anyone in one of our houses will have free access to the internet. We did a survey and found this was one of the things people wanted, plus we feel it’s really important to help people get on in life.”
The network, which could cost up to £50,000 a year to run, will launch a trial for properties on Ninian Park Road before Christmas.
Mrs Ballard was speaking at an event put on for ‘silver surfers’ to find out more about how they could use online services to beat the cold snap and keep in touch with relatives.
Sylvia Arpino (pictured above), a retired receptionist from Llanedeyrn, said: “I wanted to find out about using the internet for shopping. I’ve had it explained about using trusted retailers only.
“We also want to be able to use Skype to communicate with my son in Australia. We’ve had a few issues with it so I’m hoping today to figure out how to use it properly so I can speak to my two grandchildren.”
64-year-old Jacqueline Jenkins from Canton said: “I know nothing about computers. This session is great as I got shown the best ones to buy.
“I want to buy one as I want to try new things, but it’s very confusing knowing which one is the right one.”
Raymond Edwards, 66-year-old retired bus driver from Llanishen, wanted to find out more about researching his family history.
“I had heard about Ancestry and other websites but they seemed complicated. I have family from America and Ireland and I want to use the internet to research them.
“It will certainly open up a whole new world for me, getting online and getting access to all these documents.”
74-year-old Derrick Mills from Canton wanted to be able to use his digital camera.
He said: “I’ve got a camera and love taking photos, but I struggle to keep a constant standard in quality. Hopefully today I can find out the difference.”
Patricia Clark, 68, from Canton, said: “We’ve got a new laptop and after this we’re going to be more confident about using it.”
Emily Ward, a web co-ordinator from the organisation Race Online 2012, which aims to get more people online, praised the initiative.
She said: “It is great to see so many people here learning how they can use services like online shopping and Skype. We want to see more people getting online as there are 9 million adults in the UK who aren’t online.
“Events like this help to break down the barriers for those wanting to do things on the web.”
Race Online estimates there are 52,000 people in Cardiff who have never used the internet.
What do you think of the Taff Housing Association’s wi-fi plans? Are you a tenant? What do you think about the silver surfers session? Let us know in the comments below