CBD trial for free wi-fi service

TOM PULLAR-STRECKER
Last updated 05:00 06/06/2014

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2degrees will offer 20,000 of its customers free wi-fi in central Wellington for three months.

If the trial proved a hit, the offer could be extended and used as a blueprint in other parts of the country, chief executive Stuart Sherriff said.

The service is being provided by CityLink, a subsidiary of NZX-listed TeamTalk. It already provides a free council-backed wi-fi service in central Wellington, Cbdfree, which is used by 75,000 people a month and is partly funded through advertising.

Cbdfree users needed to log in and watch a 15-second advertisement every half-hour and before downloading emails, CityLink chief executive Nick Willis said.

2degrees' service would be free of advertising, users would not be logged off every half-hour and their emails would download automatically, he said.

2degrees spokeswoman Charlene White said its triallists would be selected from customers who used their phones in the areas of the city covered by the trial.

Telecom offers many of its mobile customers up to 1 gigabyte of free wi-fi a day from 700 wi-fi-enabled phone booths scattered around the country. Customers need to be on post-paid plans or to have subscribed to a monthly "value pack" costing $19 or more to qualify for the free data.

Sherriff said its trial would give customers "commercial-free wi-fi access across a concentrated geographical area of the Wellington CBD rather than just random ‘hotspots' that people need to be in very close proximity to".

The 2degrees wi-fi service will be available along Wellington's Golden Mile and beyond, extending from Courtenay Place, Manners St, Willis St, Lambton Quay, Waterloo Quay, Customhouse Quay, Jervois Quay and Cable St and at landmarks such as Westpac Stadium, Wellington Railway Station, Wellington Cable Car Terminals, and the zoo.

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- The Dominion Post

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