A free wireless service has been launched throughout the town centre of Taupo, providing free Wi-Fi access to residents and visitors.
The service, funded by T>Stream, is being supported by Taupo District Council, Destination Great Lake Taupo, Towncentre Taupo and various local business owners. T>Stream is owned by the Tuaropaki Trust.
The free Wi-Fi can be accessed from most of the Taupo CBD and popular recreational areas, most of the Taupo CBD and popular recreational areas including the lake front, marina, Owen Delany and Crown Park and at this stage there is no limit to the amount of data used.
Taupo District Mayor David Trewavas says the new service would be a ‘fantastic asset’ for the town and wider district. “To be able to freely use Wi-Fi in the central business district will enable many people to stay longer in town and remain connected,” he explains.
Trewavas says free Wi-Fi hot spots in most other district’s town centres were funded by ratepayers, so it was great the Tuaropaki Trust was supplying it for free to help support the town.
“As a council, we worked closely with Tuaropaki, local businesses and other interested parties to get this service up and running, so we’re thrilled it is all happening,” he says.
Locally based Tuaropaki says it was providing the service as a contribution to the ongoing development of ‘the thriving community of Taupo’.
Steven Murray, Tuaropaki Trust chief executive, says connectivity to the internet and the world was now part of everyday life. “We believe providing free internet access around Taupo is good for tourism and local residents,” he adds.
Destination Great Lake Taupo general manager Damian Coutts says a team effort had enabled the free Wi-Fi, which was introduced to encourage both visitors and residents to stay in town and increase the amount they are spending.
Coutts says the free service was great news for the district’s tourism sector, which thrived on social media marketing.
“Tourists and visitors to the district can now instantly upload and share photos, stories and travel tips about their time in Great Lake Taupo with people around the world, so this is helping to get our district even better exposure,” he claims.
“Free Wi-Fi is available in many overseas destinations and is widely expected by international travellers, so it’s positive to see Taupo keeping up with other popular destination markets.”
Tuaropaki is currently talking to other building owners for the next six town centre locations and has plans to expand to more remote sites like Huka Falls in the future.
Users can log in to the service by searching for the ‘free T-Stream Taupo’ network and can be online for an hour before having to log in again.
There are 15 free Wi-Fi sites now available throughout Taupo, with more in the pipeline, including Huka Falls.