Staff at the Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park are being helped to carry out their daily tasks by Wi-Fi installed as a part of a city-wide Birmingham City Council scheme. The free public Wi-Fi project has seen hotspots created at 200 public buildings in Birmingham – enabling the public to get online, with staff at many also benefiting in the process.

At the park, employees are taking advantage of the technology by using it to access ZIMS (Zoo Information Management System), a web-based system that enables them to note details of their animals (origin, weight etc.) by smartphone, rather than have to record information by hand before then going back to their office to use a computer there.

This means they are able to save time in their already-busy days at the Pershore Road site, and there is also a reduced risk of mistakes with any data inputted. And for visitors, it is planned to introduce information boards around the site soon, featuring QR codes that will enable people with smartphones to find out more information about the various species at the site.

Les Basford, Manager of the Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park, said: “The free public Wi-Fi scheme is a win-win for the park, its visitors and our employees.

“When people come to visit, they can use their own devices to carry out research as they go round and upload to social media accounts any pictures or video that they take – making a fun day out even more enjoyable.

“For our staff, it is helping us to refine our processes, so we can spend even more of our time caring for the animals, rather than wasting time logging the same data twice. We are extremely happy to have been selected as one of the sites to benefit from the free Wi-Fi access.”

The Wi-Fi installation, is part of Wireless in Public Buildings, a project delivered by Birmingham City Council’s Digital Birmingham team and the Government’s Super-Connected Cities Programme.

To access the Wi-Fi, visitors need to register just once. In device settings, select hotspot ID ‘BCC_Free_WiFi’ and follow the prompt to register when opening a browser page, this includes providing a mobile number to receive your activation code. Afterwards, the device will connect automatically, not just in one building but in all council buildings that have this public Wi-Fi enabled.

Cllr Lisa Trickett, Cabinet Member for Sustainability at Birmingham City Council, added: “This is a great example of how the Wireless in Public Buildings project can benefit both citizens and the services that the council provides to them.

“We should be looking to maximise every opportunity to add value to our services and I am glad that the arrival of Wi-Fi has been embraced so positively by staff at the Wildlife Conservation Park.

“This will make a fantastic facility and even better one for a family day out.”