Adelaide connects up to large-scale fast, free WiFi

Shoppers, diners, workers, students and visitors to the city now have access to fast, free WiFi in public spaces across Adelaide and North Adelaide.

Minister for Science and Information Economy Gail Gago said the AdelaideFree WiFi network – a joint project between the State Government, Adelaide City Council and Internode – makes Adelaide the first capital city in Australia to offer a service of this scale.

“We are investing in Adelaide to deliver a modern, vibrant city where more people want to live, work and invest,” Ms Gago said.

“The introduction of free WiFi is another significant step forward that will benefit visitors and locals alike.

“This $1.5 million investment means anyone with a laptop, smart phone or tablet can surf the net, send emails, post photos or download short videos, do business on the go or promote Adelaide to the rest of the world.”

The quality of the service is comparable to mobile phone 3G and ADSL2+ home broadband services, with a guaranteed download speed of two megabits per second.

Ms Gago said up to 200 new WiFi locations – complementing an existing 100 locations already offered by Internode – are now active across Adelaide’s main business district, including public areas such as all the squares, the Riverbank Precinct and the Central Market, along with parts of North Adelaide – with another 11 to be completed over the coming months.

“As many as 5,500 users are connecting to the AdelaideFree network at any one time, with some 30,000 unique users every day,” she said.

“In addition, businesses are being encouraged to attend tomorrow’s Capital City Committee forum at the Adelaide Festival Centre, to see how they can benefit from this exciting new initiative.”

Ms Gago said the network speed had been trialled successfully at some of Adelaide’s biggest events, including the Tour Down Under race in the city and the Adelaide Fringe festival. An additional 10 mobile access points are available to enable temporary coverage in Park Lands and are used to bolster coverage at major public events.

Adelaide City Council Lord Mayor Stephen Yarwood said the project is the first of its kind and magnitude for any capital city in Australia and is an outcome of Council’s Digital Strategy, setting Adelaide up as the connected capital by providing access to free WiFi in public places throughout the city.

“The vastly extended coverage now allows students, businesses, workers, tourists and visitors to connect just about anywhere, anytime, and that’s a great thing,” Stephen said.

“People can now access free WiFi in laneways, Park Lands and squares, building on the more than 100 cafes and hot spots in the city and North Adelaide where Internode WiFi was already available.

“It really does build our reputation as a smart city and a city where creativity and innovation thrive.”

Ms Gago also announced the winners of the AdelaideFree WiFi App Competition will receive $5,000 cash and a six month membership and mentoring service with Majoran Distillery, funded by the State Government and Adelaide City Council.

“The competition called for local app developers to submit ideas and apps that provide a meaningful service for users that interact with the AdelaideFree WiFi network,” she said.

“The winners – David Dennis, Quentin Zervaas, Tootz and NextFaze – have come up with innovative and useful apps which offer fun and interactive ways for people to connect with local businesses and services in the area.

“Thanks to these new apps, people have access to more information on nearby restaurants, attractions, transport services and advertising specials – all with a push of a button.”

The winning apps are available for download through the Apple iTunes store:

  • Open in Adelaide by NextFaze: track down nearby shops, restaurants and attractions that are open in the city, anywhere and anytime.
  • NextUp Adl by Quentin Zervaas: quickly access when the next bus, train or tram is coming for the nearest stop along with a route map.
  • Tootz by Tootz: a location-based app that enables nearby businesses to advertise services and offers, via push notifications to subscribers.
  • Around Adelaide by David Dennis: offers location-based mapping, directions and street views of Adelaide and details the best pubs, clubs and spots to socialise. It also has a functional reward system to encourage use.

Source: News Release Science & Information Economy Minister Gail Gago, 25 June 2014

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