Technology

29
Oct

Free public Wi-Fi pilot connecting Bendigo

Technology Portfolio
Free public Wi-Fi pilot connecting Bendigo

Minister for the Arts Heidi Victoria today announced that service provider iiNet will deliver the Victorian free public Wi-Fi pilot to Bendigo, which will roll-out from today.

“I am so pleased to announce this pilot which will provide a free, fast and reliable Wi-Fi service in central Bendigo, in and around public infrastructure, including transport hubs, public spaces and tourist attractions such as the Bendigo Art Gallery,” Ms Victoria said.

“The Victorian Coalition Government is investing $6.7 million for the construction, management and maintenance of the pilot service at three locations – Melbourne CBD, Ballarat and Bendigo – for five years.”

Ms Victoria said the pilot aimed to develop tourism, education and social inclusion, encourage new business models and create a consistent Wi-Fi experience for residents and visitors.

“This is great news for Bendigo – it will improve the tourism experience of the many people who visit this great region, attract more entrepreneurs to Bendigo, and support local business and the education sector. I also have no doubt it will be of great assistance during times of emergencies, as it will provide additional communications,” Ms Victoria said.

Technology Minister Gordon Rich-Phillips said the Victorian Coalition 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 either 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 fully rolled-out, 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

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