Free Queenstown wi-fi switched on

Downtown Queenstown manager Steve Wilde and Queenstown Lakes District mayor Vanessa van Uden connect to free wi-fi.
DASHA KUPRIENKO/FAIRFAX NZ

Downtown Queenstown manager Steve Wilde and Queenstown Lakes District mayor Vanessa van Uden connect to free wi-fi.

Free wi-fi in central Queenstown has been officially switched on.

The service is a collaboration of Downtown Queenstown and HQ which have extended the connection to The Mall, Beach St, Earnslaw Park and Village Green.

Downtown Queenstown manager Steve Wilde said the project was an example of local communities "getting on and getting it done". 

"If we just grab from the ratepayers all the time we can't do everything we want to do. It will freeze up public money to do other things," he said.

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Visitors will be able to access 1GB of data each day when they log into the service using their email or social media accounts.

The project was advertising driven and did not require funds from the Queenstown Lakes District Council. 

Mayor Vanessa van Uden​ said the privately-funded project was a great example of how to get things done.

"We all need to be looking into other models of delivering things rather than just coming to council asking for help."

Van Uden said free wi-fi was an opportunity for Queenstown visitors to share their experience with the world.

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"It will be fantastic to get logged in and tell your family back home about what you are doing. And on a days like this to have people over to broadcast how beautiful it is here," she said.

Destination Queenstown chief executive Graham Budd said the launch of free wi-fi in the town centre added to the resort's world class cosmopolitan reputation.

"It is a very exciting development for Queenstown and will add a lot of value to the visitor experience here, allowing them to share their photos, videos and stories from four convenient downtown locations," he said.

Wilde said the free wi-fi had had thousands of users in the six weeks it was running before Thursday's official launch.

"There will be hundreds of thousands people using it throughout the year and it doesn't have capacity for bigger events but then what does," he said.

HQ managing director Uan Spijkerbosch said there was still some tweaking to be done to the project based on user feedback. 

 - Stuff

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