Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Australian Public Wi-Fi Network

In "iiNet plans massive public Wi-Fi network" (IT Wires, 7 January 2014) Graeme Philipson reports that the Western Australia based telecommunication company will expand the WiFi service it provides in the Adelaide CBD to other states. While Phillipson describes this as a "massive" network, it is likely to be confined to city centres and other locations with high concentrations of potential users. In his book "Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia" (2013), Anthony M. Townsend, describes how non-profit groups provided such access previously.

It is unlikely iiNet will be providing WiFi broadband access throughout suburbs. However, one option iiNet might like to try is to offer its customers an incentive to provide WiFi to their neighbors. Under such a scheme the customer allows the WiFi on the home broadband to be used by registered users. However, such a scheme would still be limited by the availability of unlicensed spectrum for WiFi. Another option would be to provide 4G picocells, as well as WiFi.

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