Free Wi-Fi project studying hurdles

Gary Kircher. Photo: ODT files
Gary Kircher. Photo: ODT files
A move to provide free public Wi-Fi in the Waitaki district is moving ''steadily but slowly'' ahead.

The Waitaki District Council information services department had surveyed the Oamaru Harbour area and lower Thames St - but would now need to overcome some logistical hurdles before councillors could be presented with a meaningful business case for the project, council programme manager Richard Maher said.

There were physical aspects of the Thames St streetscape to consider, as well as heritage values, if the council were to add ''posh, high-tech, white-looking'' wireless access points for the project, he said at Tuesday's performance, audit and risk committee meeting.

''After the completion of a site survey for the Harbour area and lower Thames St, the team has decided to build a prototype of the proposed Wi-Fi network to understand the capability and limitations of the network equipment/devices,'' council information services group manager Bill Chou's report said.

Work would be required to camouflage the network equipment in some locations.

The project - which was at present just 15% complete - would cover ''key locations'' in the district, including sections of the Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail.

Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher said he wanted free public Wi-Fi to be as widespread across the district as possible.

hamish.maclean@odt.co.nz

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