Free wireless internet offer

Green Island residents could soon have access to free wireless internet, thanks to a local business.

Wireless Internet Connections (Wic) and Wicked Networks owner Stewart Fleming has offered to set up wireless internet hot spots on Green Island's main street. These would give people on the main street access to free wireless internet.

Wic office manager Debbe Berkett said Wic was currently talking to Green Island business owners and building tenants to see if they would be willing to have the hot spots on their premises.

Ideally, there would be three locations, one at each end of the village area, and a radio unit at the highest central point with access to power, she said.

''We're ready to go as soon as we have agreement.''

The installation would be free, and everyone who could detect the signal would be able to get one hour of free internet per day.

The wireless connection would not be business speed but it would not be capped, she said.

Wic had been based in Green Island for 10 years, and the free internet offer was its way of contributing back to the community, she said.

The free wireless is just one of many efforts aimed at rejuvenating Green Island and the surrounding area.

The Greater Green Island Community Network has been selected for the Department of Internal Affairs annual community development scheme.

The project will receive $80,000 per year for three years. Presbyterian Support Otago is the fund holder for the network.

Group spokeswoman Melanie McNatty said the first step was to engage with the community and determine what needs there were.

Then it would be possible to build on the energy and good ideas already in the community and get things done.

''It's a really good opportunity to look at how we work together,'' she said.

Ideas included working around sustainability in the community, strengthening community networks, hosting more activities and events, improving playgrounds, better safety, and creating a community garden, she said.

Some of the funds would also be used to employ a community development co-ordinator.

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