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September 20, 2010 | by  | in News |
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Wellington makes Waterfront Wireless

Students who have exceeded their bandwidth on RedTube, playing World of Warcraft or downloading the latest episodes of Gossip Girl will soon have another free source of internet.

Wireless internet access along the waterfront will make Wellington New Zealand’s first city to try anything of its kind.

It is hoped that the network, called ‘Trade Me—free wi-fi’, will be up and running by this December. The waterfront server in the NZX building will allow anyone with an internet-capable smart phone, iPad or laptop computer to access the internet anywhere along the waterfront from Queens Wharf to Te Papa.

Planned by the online auction website Trade Me, the service is free and is not a money-making objective. The high-speed internet connection is being paid for by the company in association with the Wellington City Council.

Student responses to the free internet plan were positive, and those who were often tempted to take some study to the waterfront on a nice day said they would be more encouraged to do so with wi-fi in place.

Plans to replace internet connections in flats with frequent trips to Frank Kitts Park probably won’t be viable due to the network’s restrictions. After two hours, users will be automatically logged out in order to stop commercial users taking advantage of the free network. While ordinary data files will be able to be downloaded, ‘peer-to-peer’ file-sharing of larger data files will not be permitted.

While it was expected that 500-1000 users would log on a day, actual numbers will vary according to the weather and waterfront events. Depending on its success, a review on whether free internet will stay in the area for good will be held in a year’s time.

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