NSW to roll out free WiFi service

The NSW Government has announced it plans to install a free wireless broadband network throughout the Sydney CBD and other major centres by early 2008.

Some cafes and public buildings already have free hotspots, but under the plan unveilled by Premier Morris Iemma this morning, the free network will span the whole of the Sydney CBD and North Sydney plus the business districts in Liverpool, Parramatta, Wollongong, Newcastle and Gosford.

Other major cities have similar networks. For example, Google offers free wireless access to residents in Mountain View, California, and is partnering Earthlink and local authorities in the San Francisco Bay area to provide free wireless access.

In Philadelphia, USA, Earthlink offers one of the world’s largest free Wi Fi networks and Paris, France, has established more than 400 free WiFi hotspots at Metro stations and other public places.

“Universal access to wireless broadband in our CBDs will further boost the state’s economy and make NSW more attractive for expanding or new businesses,” Mr Iemma said.

The Government will seek expressions of interest from companies wanting to provide the service early next year and hopes to have the system running by early 2008.

Source: SMH

Related Links: Wi-Fi Hotspot List