07 Aug, 2013

First stage of free Adelaide city Wi-Fi rolled out

Hindmarsh Square is the first location in the CBD with free high speed Wi-Fi as part of the plan to roll out the service across the city.

Minister for Science and Information Economy Grace Portolesi said local business Internode has won the contract to deliver the service at the official launch in Hindmarsh Square today.

“Once this is complete Adelaide will be the first capital city to have free Wi-Fi access throughout the CBD,” she said.

“Coverage will include the CBD, parts of North Adelaide and public areas such as all the Squares, Riverbank Precinct and the Central Market.”

Internode will also deliver temporary coverage in the parklands to support public events such as the Fringe, Adelaide Festival, WOMADdelaide and the Tour Down Under Village.

“We want to make Adelaide a modern, progressive and smart city and the free Wi-Fi service will help workers, shoppers, students, tourists and businesses who need information on-the-go,” Ms Portolesi said.

“There are a number of small bars and venues opening up around the city and having access to fast, free Wi-Fi in outdoor areas is another way we can activate those spaces across the CBD.”

The State Government will contribute $1 million and the City of Adelaide $500,000 to the initiative.

Lord Mayor Stephen Yarwood said the project, which is part of Council’s Digital Strategy, would complement the current CityLan network which already offered free Wi-Fi at more than 100 businesses in the city’s café precincts.

“This is a great opportunity that will benefit city residents, students, businesses, workers, tourists and visitors by allowing people to connect anywhere, anytime,” Mr Yarwood said.

“As the first capital city in Australia to roll-out such an extensive Wi-Fi network, it will build our reputation as a smart city and help drive creative industry.

“The project will further revitalise laneways and other public spaces including parklands and squares.”

Internode founder Simon Hackett said free wireless network coverage was an essential piece of urban infrastructure for modern cities.

“Adelaide’s expanded wireless coverage will make life even easier for residents, commuters and visitors alike,” he said.

“It will give them fast free Internet access throughout the CBD. Students can use this WiFi to study. Business people can use it for remote access to their office networks.

“Anyone can use it to stay in touch by email, checking the web for store specials or ordering online – all without affecting their mobile monthly phone data quota.

“So this is a win for both businesses and for individuals in the City of Adelaide.”

Work has started on the new network and will be largely completed by early next year, for Adelaide’s ‘mad March’ season of festivals, including the Adelaide Fringe and WOMADelaide.

The City of Adelaide wireless network will see Internode deploy more than 200 Cisco outdoor access points at locations throughout the CBD.

The expanded network will provide free wireless coverage for about 97 per cent of the northern CBD from Wakefield and Gouger streets through to North Terrace.

It will also provide extensive external coverage for the southern half of the CBD and parts of North Adelaide.

For more information

Rebecca Draysey