Waterfront Wifi

The Dom Post editorial:

Fans who cannot afford tickets won’t be left out. The council is planning a “fan zone”, complete with giant screens, on the city’s waterfront, so visitors and Kiwis alike can celebrate – or commiserate – together.

Part of the attraction, city fathers hope, will be proposals for free wireless internet on that very waterfront. Last week, the council indicated that Wellingtonians – and anyone else in the vicinity, barring commercial operators – would have free access to high-speed wireless internet from December.

The initiative is Trade Me’s – like The , part of the Fairfax Media empire. The online auction company and the council will jointly foot the bill, with Trade Me’s chief executive saying it wanted to give back something to a city that had given rise to its success.

The first free wi-fi spot will be available to people between Queens Wharf and Te Papa, within reach of a waterfront server in the NZX building. But the local authority hopes that free wi-fi along the entire waterfront, from the stadium to the Embassy Theatre in Courtenay Place, will be in place by the time the World Cup starts. It now also wants expressions of interest to provide the service permanently along the Golden Mile.

The free wi-fi proposal reinforces how integral all forms of technology have become to life in the second decade of the 21st century and sits neatly alongside the Government’s goal of having ultrafast broadband available to 75 per cent of New Zealand within 10 years. It reinforces, too, the role digital technology plays in all life’s spheres, including tourism and rugby.

Wellington has its party central nicely sorted out.

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