The introduction of a free wireless internet service in Hamilton’s Garden Place will be celebrated with a special launch this Friday [3 December] from 12pm-1pm.
The launch in Garden Place will be a chance for the public to trial the new service, with an iPhone up for grabs for one lucky attendee.
The free WiFi is part of plans to revitalise the city centre and was identified by Hamilton’s Creativity and Identity Strategy Forum and the Digital Hamilton study, a flagship project in the city’s Economic Development Strategy.
Everyone from business people working out of the office and students working on assignments, to visitors to the city will be able to utilise the free service. They will connect when accessing the internet using wireless devices, such as laptops and smart phones, while in Garden Place and selecting the ‘hamiltonline’ network. Once connected users will automatically be taken to a Hamilton landing page which promotes the city.
Because the key purpose of the network is to allow browsing of the internet on a casual basis, heavy downloading, video streaming and other types of extensive use will be restricted. Users who want unlimited access will be able to pay for a faster service provided by Lightwire.
Hamilton mayor Julie Hardaker said the new service will help to enhance Hamilton’s reputation as a leading business and visitor destination.
“This free WiFi service will position Hamilton as a digital city and a progressive place to visit and do business,” she said.
There are plans to extend the coverage area for the free WiFi to encompass more of the central city area in the new year.
The WiFi service has been developed by Hamilton City Council, Rural Link, Velocity Networks and VO2, a company at the Soda Inc business incubator.