Bathurst, Gold Coast getting free Wi-Fi networks

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Thursday, 28 March, 2019

Bathurst, Gold Coast getting free Wi-Fi networks

The City of Bathurst has launched free Wi-Fi services in parts of the city centre and major public areas using grant funding from the federal Smart Cities and Suburbs Program.

A $305,000 grant, which was half provided by the federal government with matching funding from Bathurst Regional Council, was used to install Wi-Fi access points in parts of the city.

As well as providing internet services, the Wi-Fi access points are being used to provide real-time communication of tourism, traffic, weather, council, business and service information to registered users.

The city council plans to collect data from Wi-Fi users to support local businesses while improving town planning and resource management processes.

“Growing Bathurst as a smart city complements our city’s reputation as a great place to live and shows our agility and flexibility to adopt new technologies that will provide better experiences for local residents and visitors, create more central social spaces and strengthen community identity,” Bathurst Mayor and Regional Council Graeme Hanger said.

Meanwhile, Ruckus Networks has revealed it has been awarded a contract by the City of the Gold Coast to deploy a free high-speed Wi-Fi network to areas spanning Southport to Coolangatta.

Phase one of the implementation of what will be known as the Surf Network is now complete, and additional rollouts are planned over the next 12 months.

The public Wi-Fi network will be progressively expanded to council facilities including libraries and community centres, as well as public areas including popular beaches and parks.

Ruckus Networks Chief Innovation and Economy Officer Ian Hatton said the Surf Network currently supports more than 31,000 connections per month, with more than 1.7 terabytes consumed by 2000 concurrent online users each day.

“The usage statistics speak for themselves,” he said. “The uptake of the service has exceeded expectations, and the feedback from users has been overwhelmingly positive. The high-speed network not only supports the services that both visitors and the community need, but also enables them to connect with each other.”

Image credit: © Grinvalds

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