Victoria Launching Free Public Wi-Fi Network

The Victorian government has enlisted the help of major Australian internet service provider iiNet to rollout Australia’s largest free Wi-Fi network across three of the State’s cities.

The VicGovFree project is a pre-election initiative from the Liberal-National government designed to establish 1000 wireless access points in Melbourne, Bendigo, and Ballarat over the next five years.

The $6.7 million operation will provide users access to 250 megabytes of internet usage per day at major Victorian locations, including Queen Victoria Markets, Federation Square and City Loop train stations Southern Cross, Flinders Street, Melbourne Central, Flagstaff and Parliament.

“The Wi-Fi network makes use of existing public infrastructure, such as light poles, bus shelters and government buildings, and is available outdoors,” Victorian Technology Minister Rich-Phillips said in a statement.

“When activated, the free Wi-Fi service will help locals, visitors, and people meeting or working outdoors, and be invaluable during emergencies when telecommunications networks are under pressure.”

Victoria’s new public internet rollout will come hassle free- the government claims the network won’t feature advertising or log private information and browsing history.

Melbourne is set to join free Wi-Fi initiatives already up and running in Adelaide, Canberra and Perth.

Telstra is another industry giant with an expressed interest in public internet points. The company announced a plan in May to establish free public Wi-Fi points across Australia and around the globe in an attempt to become the world’s largest Wi-Fi network.

The telco giant will spend $100 million to develop 2 million Wi-Fi hotspots across Australia in partnerships with local governments and businesses, while also providing Australians with 12 million international hotspots throughout the world in partnership with global provider Fon. 

Photo: Getty Images

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