Technology

29
Oct

Free public Wi-Fi pilot connecting Ballarat

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Free public Wi-Fi pilot connecting Ballarat

Treasurer Michael O’Brien was in Ballarat today to announce that service provider iiNet will deliver the Victorian free public Wi-Fi pilot, with simultaneous announcements also occurring in Melbourne and Bendigo.

“The Victorian Coalition Government has partnered with iiNet to deliver free public Wi-Fi in three locations across Victoria, including Ballarat. From today, free, fast and reliable Wi-Fi service will be available in central Ballarat under this Coalition Government initiative,” Mr O’Brien said.

“The roll-out will continue across more locations. Local residents and tourists alike will be able to access free Wi-Fi in and around key public areas, including major transport hubs and Ballarat tourist attractions.

“This $6.7 million investment by the Victorian Coalition Government is for the management and maintenance of the pilot service for five years across three locations – Melbourne CBD, Ballarat and Bendigo.

“The pilot will encourage tourists to tweet and facebook their experiences at the many tourist attractions in Ballarat and also allow local residents to stay connected with free Wi-Fi.

“This announcement will be welcome news for Ballarat. It will help to promote Ballarat as one of Victoria’s best tourist attractions as well as making it easier for local residents to stay connected,” Mr O’Brien said.

Technology Minister Gordon Rich-Phillips said the Napthine Government is partnering with the City of Melbourne, City of Ballarat and City of Greater Bendigo for the pilot, to deliver a total of 1000 hotspot locations throughout the three cities.

“Importantly, it will provide Victorians who don’t have internet access at home or mobile internet with a means of getting online to access information about government services, employment and public transportation,” Mr Rich-Phillips said.

“This pilot is part of the Victorian Government’s agenda to establish infrastructure that enables ‘smart city’ initiatives to strengthen Victoria’s position as Australia’s leading technology state.

“The Wi-Fi network makes use of existing public infrastructure, such as light poles, bus shelters and government buildings, and is available outdoors,” Mr Rich-Phillips said.

Mr Rich-Phillips said users will be able to access fast free internet at hotspots across the Melbourne, Ballarat and Bendigo CBDs.

“The service will not carry advertising, request personal email addresses or passwords, or collect browsing history,” Mr Rich-Phillips said.

“There is a 250MB download limit per device per day – which allows up to three hours of constant web browsing or 200 photos to be shared on social media.

“When activated, the free Wi-Fi service will help locals, visitors, and people meeting or working outdoors, and be invaluable during emergencies when telecommunications networks are under pressure,” Mr Rich-Phillips said.

For more information on the free public Wi-Fi pilot, visit www.digital.vic.gov.au and to watch the video please visit http://vimeo.com/thestorylab/review/109101586/c0091e9e23

Media contacts:
Andrew Drever   0409 580 996    andrew.drever@minstaff.vic.gov.au           (Minister Rich-Phillips)
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