The Greens Want To Trial A New Public Wi-Fi Network In Canberra

The Greens have pledged that if elected, they will push for a $100,000 plan to get the nation's capital hooked up with a free city Wi-Fi trial set to span town centres, bus services and other public areas.

The plan will see the Greens enable Wi-Fi in town centre hotspots around Canberra, on the city's ACTION bus network and around various bus interchanges around town.

There's no detail yet on just how the internet would be made available to commuters and city-dwellers. The Greens are still deciding whether or not it would be based on time or download limit, but they're confident they can keep the cost of the trial down thanks to existing government telecommunications contracts.

The web will be filtered through the Wi-Fi hotspots under the territory government's filtering protocol, and the trial will be analysed after a year to see if it's something that should be deployed city-wide.

The Greens say that a city-wide Wi-Fi network for Canberra will bring it up to date with modern cities like New York and Wellington (?).

"Modern cities around the world, from Wellington to New York are establishing public Wi-Fi in city centres and on public transport. For a modest price we can help make public transport more enjoyable for commuters, and make our public space more attractive to visitors," said Meredith Hunter, ACT Greens Parliamentary Leader.

Does Wi-Fi make the city? What's your best public Wi-Fi story? [The Greens]

Image: The Greens



    Our *federal* tax dollars hard at work.

      Umm. No that's state govt

        exactly his point....
        tax dollars from the whole country going to a wifi network intended only for one state

          You do realise that with self govt Canberra is allowed to spend tax dollars just like every other state or territory right? If this was a NSW based policy would you raise the same issues or is it that Canberra happens to be the location of parliament house and therefore no money should be spent without the ole 'federal taxes' rant?

          The money comes from the ACT territory government, which raises its funds through stamp duty, fees, fines, duties etc. Are you suggesting a territory or state Government shouldn't be entitled to spend its residents'money to benefit said residents? The Federal Government and ACT Territory Government budgets are quite separate.

          ...only the a.c.t is paying for it so that would make it state not fed.

    Internode did this in Adelaide some time ago.

    the ACT Labor party has the same policy which they announced a few days ago. Both policys seems to be pretty much the same.

    I was surprised to go to Darwin a couple of weeks ago and find free wi-fi in their main shopping district. It worked for, I believe, and hour or up to a certain download limit.

    ACT Govt is already anti car enough, deleting carparks everywhere and upping the cost of parking. The Action bus network is atrocious, unless you're going directly to the nearest town centre a 15 minute trip in a car can easily take you over an hour on bus. God help us if the greens get in.

      I love the Action buses and catch the bus to work every day.

      I travel from an outer suburb via one town centre to another. It is a 1 hour trip each way (vs 30 min in a car), but the bus fare is cheaper than the cost of parking a car, and I don't have fuel and rego costs for a car either (we are a one car family).

      I read the news, a book or watch a show on my iPod, or catch up on my work reading. I don't have to stress about the drive and the twit who thinks it is ok to drive at 80 on the parkway.

      Sure, there are tradeoffs, but it is a financial and stress free win for me.

        @Ajmay. Your a wise man.

    Wow... $100k? Clearly being run by novice project managers. You won't get anything for that.

    except maybe a trial....which might not provide universal coverage with levitating wifi hotspots and holograms to explain how the system works, but might allow for a proof of concept/trial on selected bus routes and in selected locations like one or two town centres.

    sounds like mykp in wodonga, which was to cover the entire town with wifi, but failed. i think the network stayed live for a few days before completely dying.

    I don't think that it's worth it with everyone getting 3g net access on their phones. If they are concerned that poor people don't have internet...maybe it's cheaper to just give them some coupon for phone credit.

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