10 December 2015
Free Wifi rollout started
Work started this week on installing the infrastructure for the Gore District Council’s free WiFi project.
The Council is partnering with Dunedin-based company Rural Networks South Island to provide WiFi to the central business area, Gore’s heritage precinct and the multisports complex.
Gore District Mayor Tracy Hicks said it was exciting to see the roll out of the project.
“We know there’s been a lot of community expectation, and it will be great to have at least part of it operational before Christmas, if not all of it.”
The free WiFi area extends from the heritage precinct in Hokonui Drive to Civic Avenue, taking in Fairfield Street and the Gore gardens. The Council is one of the first southern towns to offer free WiFi in its CBD.
Mr Hicks said there was an increasing expectation that people should have access to free internet in public spaces.
“Free WiFi fits in perfectly with our retailers’ need to do business and connect with their customers differently, as well as with Gore’s status as a motorhome friendly town.
“When you are travelling free WiFi is gold,” he said.
Rural Networks South Island General Manager Brent Nicholson said his company was excited to be part of the project.
“Tourists and locals will benefit from having free WiFi access. Statistics show that people stay longer in towns with free WiFi, which in turn increases the amount they spend in those areas.”
A former Gore man, Mr Nicholson said the company had carried out a lot of work for business and residential markets. It has just built a wireless high speed network for the Taieri Plains, giving residents and businesses much faster and more consistent service.
The heritage precinct and multisports complex are expected to be operational within the next week or so. The central business area will be rolled out as soon as power connections have been installed at strategic locations.
“The staged roll out will give us time to test the service and make sure the WiFi is robust,” Mr Nicholson said.
Gore District Chief Executive Stephen Parry said the project fits in perfectly with the District’s rural city living ethos. Installation of the hardware for the project was costing approximately $10,000 and would be funded from existing budgets, he said.