Free wireless internet for Wellington CBD

Wellington will be the first New Zealand city to provide a free wireless internet service across most of its central city.

The initiative was announced today by Mayor Celia Wade-Brown and will be available in time for the Rugby World Cup.

Coverage would extend from Waitangi Park and Courtenay Place along the 'golden mile' to Westpac Stadium and up Cuba Street.

The service would eventually be extended to other busy locations such as the Zoo, Zealandia, the Cable Car and Carter Observatory, as well as main libraries, Ms Wade-Brown said.

"It's great that the system will be in place for the World Cup -- there'll be thousands of people visiting the Capital from the northern hemisphere who'll enjoy being able to get free wi-fi here."

Some of the costs would be offset by sponsorship, but the council will fund the free network at a cost of $80,000 and then $216,000 per year. When it is up and running, users will be disconnected after half an hour and can then reconnect.



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