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Public Wi-Fi trial to continue

27 November 2019

The Fraser Coast Regional Council will a consider providing free Wi-Fi at community events as part of an investigation into establishing permanent public Wi-Fi network on the Fraser Coast.

The development of a Council Public Wi-Fi network is part of Council’s Smart Community Strategy.

At its meeting today (Wednesday, November 27) Council agreed to include the proposal for Public Wi-Fi as a topic for discussion during the development of the 20120-2021 budget.

“If the project is included in the 2020-21 budget, Council will install a permanent public Wi-Fi network on the Maryborough Town Hall Green.” Cr Zane O’Keefe said.

“As we develop the proposal to put forward for the budget discussion we will talk with businesses around the Town Hall Green to gauge their feelings on the proposal.”

The primary reasons for Council to offer Public Wi-Fi is to encourage tourism and help residents stay connected, Cr O’Keefe said.

“Research has found that providing free Wi-Fi in public open spaces and tourist hot spots, like parks and beaches, also has a significant impact on attracting tourists.”

Cr O’Keefe said since 2017, Council had been installing Wi-Fi networks at its caravan parks, the Brolga Theatre, libraries, airports and the Story Bank in Maryborough.

“Temporary public Wi-Fi was provided at the Maryborough Technology Challenge, Maryborough Carols by Candlelight and the Fraser Coast Sports and Recreation Precinct opening,” he said.

“Initial costs estimates indicate that $15,000 is needed for the hardware and $8,000 a year is needed to operate a node at the Maryborough Town Hall Green.

“To ensure that we do not over invest during the trial, we will use an external provider. This way we can stop or start services within the network when needed.”