Victoria

First stage of free CBD Wi-Fi network launched in Melbourne

VICTORIAN Small Business, Innovation and Trade Minister Philip Dalidakis last week joined City of Melbourne's Chief Digital Officer Michelle Fitzgerald at Southern Cross Station to announce the first of many Wi-Fi access points to be rolled-out across Melbourne as part of an $11 million Victorian Free Wi-Fi Pilot.

Beginning last Friday, visitors can use the 'VicFreeWiFi' service within all Melbourne CBD train stations, the Bourke Street Mall, Queen Victoria Market, and South Wharf Promenade at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Melbourne skyline at dusk
Above: Melbourne skyline at dusk / by Guy Dickinson.

More access points will be switched on over the coming months, with the full network to be up and running by the end of the year.

A free Wi-Fi pilot has been running successfully in Bendigo and Ballarat since December 2015 and has recorded one million sessions in the two regional cities during the nine months it's been operational.

Once the Melbourne network is complete, the VicFreeWiFi service will be the largest free public Wi-Fi network of its kind in Australia, covering an area of 600,000 square metres across the three cities.

The project will operate for five years and is being managed by telecommunications company TPG. The service allows for up to 250 MB per device, per day, and does not require personal logins or feature pop-up advertising.

Photo: Melbourne skyline at dusk / Guy Dickinson / Licensed under Creative Commons BY-SA 2.0.

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