The first stage of the CBRfree rollout will be completed by October this year, with work to connect other city districts and commercial centres due for completion by mid next year.
The project, which iiNet describes as Australia’s largest free WiFi network, involves the deployment of 700 Cisco wireless access points throughout Canberra, which will be connected to iiNet’s fibre and VDSL2 broadband network running beneath the city’s streets.
Civic will be the first commercial centre to have WiFi available when the first stage is completed in October.
“We believe that free Wi-Fi access is a critical part of the infrastructure of modern cities.
“Increasingly, cities across the world are building public wireless networks, with the most successful providing simple and free access for anyone.
“This partnership combines the ACT Government’s enduring vision of a connected Canberra, with iiNet’s proven technical expertise, nationwide broadband network and award-winning service reputation.
Claiming leadership as Australia’s leading provider of public wireless networks, with deployment of the AdelaideFree Wi-Fi network during the past nine months, Bader said an average of 200,000 different people use AdelaideFree, each month, and during peak periods, with as many as 5000 people connected at any one time.
iiNet’s contract with the ACT Government also includes a 12-month mobile Wi-Fi trial on five Acton Canberra buses. Called ‘Free Bus’, the service will be tested with passengers before a full rollout is considered.
Bader says iiNet will further extend the CBRfree public network by installing an additional 400 Cisco wireless access points within businesses across the city, allowing seamless connection inside and out.
One of Canberra’s first businesses to join the CBRfree Wi-Fi network is King O’Malley’s Irish Pub, located in Garema Place in the heart of Canberra City.