The Victorian state government has awarded the contract to roll out free public Wi-Fi in Melbourne, Bendigo and Ballarat to iiNet, with the network set to have over 1000 access points across the three cities.
The network, dubbed VicGovFree, will cost $6.7 million and cover the central business districts of all three cities. It will provide users with free internet access up to 250 megabytes per user per day.
In Melbourne, it will cover Southern Cross, Flinders Street, Melbourne Central, Flagstaff and Parliament stations, as well as the Queen Victoria Market and the exterior of Federation Square.
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The new network will be the largest of its kind in Australia, with iiNet having previously rolled out similar networks across Adelaide and Canberra. The AdelaideFree network in South Australia features 300 wireless access points, while Canberra’s CBRfree has 300 indoor access points plus 400 more in businesses.
The Victorian Wi-Fi network was initially announced by the state government in March, along with a $40 million to program to provide free Wi-Fi services on key V/Line train services.
iiNet also announced it is upgrading the speeds available to 50,000 customers on its iiNet Cable HFC (hybrid fibre cable) network in Geelong to 100 megabits per second, bringing speeds on the network in line with those on the NBN.