Community-owned fibre broadband provider, Enable, and the Christchurch City Council have launched their new Christchurch Free Wi-Fi service in the central city.
This means that Christchurch locals and visitors can enjoy free connectivity whenever they are in the city, powered by Enable's gigabit fibre broadband.
The Christchurch Free Wi-Fi service extends from the Bridge of Remembrance and along Oxford Terrace to Victoria Square, across to Colombo Street and back down Colombo Street to the Lichfield Street corner.
"At Enable were very excited to be able to let our community know that Christchurch Free Wi-Fi is now up and running," Enable chief executive, Johnathan Eele.
"Enable has invested in Christchurch Free Wi-Fi because having a high-quality free Wi-Fi service is key for any smart 21st century city as part of the city's economic development and tourism strategies," he says.
"The high-level economic benefits of Christchurch Free Wi-Fi are important, sure. Today, I would like to focus on the real benefits for local people and visitors looking to use this exciting free service," adds Eele.
"Locals and visitors can enjoy free connectivity when they are exploring many of the things our central city has to offer. For example, connect on the way to Riverside Market for lunch, or during a break at a Te Pae event."
The Christchurch City Council are Enable's key partner in delivering this project, providing Council infrastructure (such as streetlights) to install equipment on and utilising the Council's existing internet connectivity.
"With the borders opening to all travellers next month its the perfect time to be launching this new free Wi-Fi service,' says Christchurch City Council chief executive, Dawn Baxendale.
"We hope to see the central city bustling with visitors and having them able to access fast, reliable, and free internet will be a huge bonus."
Local students are another group that Enable hopes benefit from Christchurch Free Wi-Fi being available in our city centre.
"We expect students to take full advantage of this new free service. We hope they use it to access their learning or to create content when visiting the city and, also to connect with friends, family and the world," says Eele.
With this in mind, and when Enable needed a large group of people to test the network before launch, they approached Christchurch city-based school Ao Tawhiti Unlimited Discovery to help. On Friday, 27 May about 60 students took part in a series of tests while walking the network coverage route.
"It was fantastic to get a big group of future users out testing the network before we launched. The testing was a big success and has helped us get ready for todays launch," says Eele.
Ao Tawhiti Unlimited Discovery Director, Anita Yarwood, adds, "Ensuring our students have a deep connection with our community is something we value at Ao Tawhiti Unlimited Discovery so we were happy to support Enable to test the new Christchurch Free Wi-Fi service.
"Having free Wi-Fi available is just one more thing that makes central Christchurch a fantastic place for our students to be based and I am sure our students and their whanau will take full advantage of this service."