The ACT Government has commissioned Internet services provider, iiNet, to build a free Wi-Fi network across 12 business districts in the nation’s capital.
The ISP aims for minimum download speeds of 2 megabits per second (Mbps), but did not specify its upload targets. Its launch test achieved 30Mbps download and 16Mbps upload speeds.
iiNet expects the first phase, centred on Civic, to be completed by October.
Remaining areas, including Belconnen, Dickson, Woden, Tuggeranong, Bruce, Manuka-Kingston, Gungahlin, Weston Creek, Parkes, the foreshore, and Commonwealth Park, will be finished by June 2015
The network will be free to use by anyone in coverage areas. It will not require any contractual obligation, registration, or sign-up process; the project will be completely open for access.
The project, named CBRfree, will involve more than 700 Cisco wireless access points throughout the city.
Three hundred (300) of these will be dedicated outdoor units for high traffic areas and will connect to iiNet’s fibre and VDSL2 broadband network.
iiNet’s contract with the ACT Government includes a 12-month mobile Wi-Fi trial on five Acton Canberra buses. The service will be tested with passengers before a major deployment gets the green light.
“We believe that free Wi-Fi access is a critical part of the infrastructure of modern cities,” iiNet chief business officer, Greg Bader, said. “Increasingly, cities across the world are building public wireless networks, with the most successful providing simple and free access for anyone.”
More to come.