Australia's number two ISP, iiNet, has been picked by the ACT government to build the country's largest free Wi-Fi network, spanning 12 business districts throughout Canberra. More than 700 individual wireless access points will be distributed across those areas, blanketing high-traffic areas with free public wireless access.
Image credit: iiNet communications manager Anthony Fisk, Twitter
As part of the rollout, 300 outdoor Wi-Fi access points from Cisco will be connected to iiNet's fibre and VDSL2 backbone networks, and 400 access points will be installed in business premises. The network will be free to use for anyone visiting, working or travelling through the area in the centre of Canberra's central business district.
Being pervasive and directly connected to iiNet's high-speed networks, the public Wi-Fi should be faster than the generally poor examples in retail stores like McDonalds and Starbucks. iiNet-owned Internode runs a number of public Wi-Fi hotspots across the country, but implements data limits on traffic; it's not yet clear whether iiNet will restrict its Canberra Wi-Fi in this way. Update: Apparently users can pull down 100MB per day per device on the network (thanks Tal!).
The network project will start in the absolute centre of the CBD in October, and by the end of June 2015 it will extend through Belconnen, Dickson, Woden, Tuggeranong, Bruce, Manuka-Kingston, Gungahlin, Weston Creek, and Commonwealth Park and the Parkes tourist district.
iiNet already runs the AdelaideFree public Wi-Fi network, which sees traffic of up to 5000 simultaneous users and 200,000 different connections every month. [iiNet]