Canberra's free public Wi-Fi one step closer

Released 29/05/2014

Chief Minister Katy Gallagher has today announced that Canberra's free WiFi is one step closer with the first site in Garema Place scheduled to go live in October 2014. The free Wi-Fi project is part of the ACT Government's commitment to Canberra's future as a smart and digital city.

The Chief Minister has also announced iiNet as the Government's selected provider for the rollout of free public WiFi across the ACT's town centres and commercial precincts. The Wi-Fi contract will deliver 745 access points (400 indoor and 345 outdoor) for $3.1 million in funding.

"This is an historic moment for Canberra and a demonstration of the ACT Government's commitment to make Canberra a truly leading digital city," the Chief Minister said.

"Free Wi-Fi will stimulate the digital economy and help us create vibrant town centre areas. It will also support community development across a broad area of our city, connecting communities and making it easier for Canberrans to engage with Government services," the Chief Minister said.

In October this year, Civic East – from Garema Place to Marcus Clarke Street – will be the first area of the city to go live, making it the largest continuous free outdoor public wireless network in Australia. This will be followed by a staged rollout in other town centres and commercial precincts over the following 12 months.

The new free public Wi-Fi service will deliver users with 100 megabytes per day, totalling 3 gigabytes per month. An example of the type of internet activity Canberrans will have per month is:

  • the capacity to send around 6000 emails (without attachments);
  • make around 600 Facebook posts;
  • download about 210 songs; or
  • download roughly 600 photos.

"Providing high quality WiFi access in Canberra's town centres will help attract people to retail and hospitality precincts and help to boost small business," the Chief Minister said.

"Public WiFi is an important step in establishing Canberra as a digital city and will encourage new knowledge-based and ICT industries that will help to diversify the ACT economy."

- Statement ends -

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