Internode plans to increase its Adelaide wireless hotspot coverage by more than three-fold within 12 months, allowing residents, students and visitors to browse the Web for free throughout the CBD.
A pioneering partnership between national broadband innovator Internode and the Adelaide City Council already gives people free wireless Web browsing in large areas of central Adelaide and North Adelaide. Internode plans to boost coverage from 40 wireless hotspots to 140 hotspots by June 2007.
This free wireless reach puts Adelaide ahead of other Australian capitals, establishing it on a par with world-leading initiatives in cities such as San Francisco and Chicago. The convenience, ease and speed of free wireless Web browsing throughout the CBD makes it easier for residents, students, business people and visitors to combine their activities with the city’s comfortable environment.
Department of Further Education, Employment, Science and Technology Information Economy Directorate Manager - Telecommunications Peter Triantafilou said the SA Government had identified broadband access as strategically important for the economic and social wellbeing of the State. “In the city, a key area of economic focus is the attraction of overseas students to Adelaide," he said.
"Access to affordable wireless broadband is increasingly seen as an advantage for students living, working and studying in Adelaide and that the provision of broadband services may be a crucial factor in the decision to study in Adelaide. A recently conducted survey * shows that more than 90 per cent of students find wireless broadband services important or essential."
With most notebooks supporting 802.11 wireless protocols "out of the box", Wi-Fi (Wireless Fidelity) networking is widely used in business to provide low-cost, broadband network access. Adelaide City Council has actively encouraged the deployment of free wireless Web coverage in the city.
Adelaide Lord Mayor Michael Harbison said Adelaide's leadership in free wireless Web coverage contributed to the Council's strategic plan to increase the population of the city. "The free access is particularly popular with our residents and the increasing student population in the city, and we are starting to see increased interest from workers and visitors," he said.
"It positions Adelaide as an innovative city that is a great place to do business. That's one of the reasons Adelaide is placed as one of the best cities in the world in which to do business."
In 2003, Internode and Adelaide City Council, supported by the SA Government, collaborated on the world-leading CityLan initiative to create a contiguous wireless network zone covering the city's most densely populated zones. Internode has since extended CityLan with initiatives such as Internode Wireless at Cibo Espresso, which has taken the service into suburban centres.
Cibo Espresso reports that wireless Internet coverage has boosted business at the popular coffee spots. "It has brought a different type of clientele to our business," reports John Caruso, managing director of Commuserv, the company that provides technology services for Cibo Espresso.
"Since Internode Wireless was installed, Cibo staff report new faces coming in to have coffee and use the wireless. They also behave differently. They used to have coffee and rush off. Now they have a coffee, have something to eat and do some work. This gives them the flexibly to step outside the office. Internode Wireless has been very positive. It's a value-add in our industry that has made us unique."
Internode, which also provides free wireless Web access throughout Adelaide's new airport terminal, is actively seeking additional CBD locations for its wireless access points to extend its coverage.
Internode Wireless product manager Jim Kellett said the trebling of Internode Wireless hotspots was a win for businesses as well as for their customers. "Customers receive free Web browsing along with the option of full wireless Internet services for a fee," he said.
"The only thing we need now is the right locations to place our access points. Based on Cibo's experience, it's a hassle-free approach for businesses. Our no-charge model means we provide them with free wireless Web access that can boost their business at no cost to them."
For more about Internode Wireless hotspots, visit https://hotspot.internode.on.net/. To host an Internode Wireless hotspot at your business premises, email your details to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Internode is an Internet age carrier committed to using broadband technology to redefine the national telecommunications environment. The Australian-owned company is a trailblazer that delivers the cost and convenience of broadband to individuals and businesses nationally.