Which town will have the fastest free public Wi-Fi service down under? Porirua, that’s where.
The Porirua City Council has announced the CBD will have the fastest free public Wi-Fi service in Australasia by the end of the year.
Porirua City Council last month signed a contract with Smartlinx3 to build a gigabit-speed fibre and wireless network in the city centre by the end of 2015, with some zones likely to come online as early as September.
The capital cost of the initiative is $284,000, with ongoing costs of about $40,000 a year, the council explains. The free public Wi-Fi service will be only be made available offered during daytime hours.
‘Ana Coffey, Porirua Deputy Mayor, says the initiative fitted well with the other projects the council was running and funding to revitalise the city centre.
“Free and fast Wi-Fi across the CBD makes the area more attractive for visitors and residents,” she says.
“When people come to the city they’ll be able to access any information they need about local businesses and services. Everyone’s glued to their phones these days so having a great experience with fast Wi-Fi can add to a visitor’s experience and make it likelier they’ll come back.”
Coffey says, “Our community really got behind the idea of having fast Wi-Fi through the Gigatown campaign so it’s great to be able to deliver on that goal.”
The free outdoor Wi-Fi area will cover from Tutu Place to Mungavin Bridge, and from Titahi Bay Road to Porirua Stream.
Businesses in the same area will be able to connect to the gigabit-speed fibre network under contracts directly with Smartlinx3 or by way of a range of internet service providers able to operate on the fibre network.
Roger MacDonald, Smartlinx3 managing director, says the fibre network will form the backbone of the Wi-Fi service.
“Fibre optic cabling will be directly connected to each Gigabit Wi-Fi Access Points to ensure that performance criteria can be met,” he says. “This will also future proof the Wi-Fi network as higher speed waveforms and user demands evolve.
“Other cities like Brisbane may cover a larger area in terms of hot spots, but Porirua achieves a first for speed and accessibility with this initiative.”
Smartlinx3 was created as a public-private initiative in 2004 by Porirua, Hutt and Upper Hutt City councils in association with private investors, to set up and operate an open access broadband telecommunications network across the three cities.
Currently visitors to the Porirua CBD can connect to Welly WiFi, a free public wireless internet service provided by Porirua City Council on the back of its own provision to employees, contractors and councillors.