Geelong expands its free Wi-Fi

Businesses and residents will be able to use a free Wi-Fi service from the Victorian-based City of Greater Geelong in conjunction with industry peak body, ICT Geelong.

The council is currently seeking state government funding to expand the service, which is in a trial period to be regularly reviewed on whether the need exists to increase its capacity.

Originating as a free community Wi-Fi information service in Johnstone Park in 2010, it has since been extended to include the bus interchange in Moorabool Street and Malp Street Central.

Geelong-based Brownbill Ward Councillor, Barbara Abley said a free Wi-Fi service is a common and expected feature of modern international cities as such a service helps activate public spaces.

“The city has been able to use existing CCTV infrastructure, including the fibre optic cables, to operate the independent Wi-Fi service,” Ms Abley said.

Ms Abley said if the funding application to the state government works, the council plans to extend the coverage to all 27 CCTV sites across Central Geelong and the Waterfront.

According to Ms Abley, the City of Greater Geelong, ICT Geelong, Deakin University, Gordon TAFE, Tourism Geelong and commercial internet firms developed the Wi-Fi service as a working group.

“The service provides free Wi-Fi internet access with a reasonable 10 megabyte daily limit on data downloads and unlimited free access to council, community, tourism, health and public information websites,” Ms Abley said.

She said additional access to the internet is available on a subscription basis.

Regional not-for-profit, Ballarat ICT Ltd has been working with ICT Geelong on studying the impact on productivity by installing wireless internet services in Victoria’s regional train network.

According to ICT Geelong, the objective of the study is to determine the level of demand for wireless internet connectivity on regional train services.

“This research is seen as an important step for building the business case for wireless internet on Victoria’s regional train network,” an ICT Geelong release said.

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