Improved Wi-fi access can only be a positive step

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The internet has become an ingrained part of our lives in an incredibly short period of time.

Even those of us who grew up before its use became commonplace would surely struggle to imagine life now without the worldwide web.

It’s not so long ago that some people would happily pay through the nose to get online in an internet cafe.

For those growing up now, they’re unlikely to ever know of a life without it.

Even the concept of the ‘silver surfer’ – an older person who goes online – is going to become a patronising redundancy as we move into a time where everyone will have lived with the internet for quite some time.

We don’t doubt that there are those who already consider the ability to get online a basic human right.

While that might be stretching the definition a touch, it is becoming an increasingly important aspect of every day.

By the same turn, there will be those who continue to refuse to go online, we’re sure. But they are in a minority that will continue to dwindle.

There may also be those who say that the money could be better spent elsewhere. But as with so many vital aspects of everyday life, such as banking, shopping, or paying bills, being dealt with online, it becomes easier to see £3.2m for improved Wi-fi access in Portsmouth as money well spent.

With the money coming from a central government grant as well, it is not going to have any impact on council tax.

And it will also prove invaluable in our city schools, where ease of online access makes it a crucial educational tool.

This move will prove priceless in making sure that our young people are able to keep pace with their peers.

Bringing Wi-fi into dozens of public buildings will simply improve many people’s quality of life in an easy, unobtrusive way.

And it will help with things that might be deemed less essential – the simple act of learning how to use Skype can bring huge joy into the lives of those separated from their loved ones.