Wellington’s CBD is now a global campus for students and academics from around the world with REANNZ extending ‘eduroam’ wireless Internet access services across CityLink’s central city Wi-Fi network.
REANNZ, the provider of high-performance network services for New Zealand’s education and research communities, has exclusive rights for eduroam in New Zealand.
eduroam is a secure roaming Internet access service for the international research and education community. Access to eduroam is available to students, researchers and staff from 5000 participating institutions in nearly 70 countries around the globe.
“CityLink was the obvious partner for this project,” said Steve Cotter, CEO of REANNZ.
A network infrastructure service provider, CityLink has been in the Wi-Fi space for over a decade providing public Wi-Fi hotspots across New Zealand. In 2011, supported by the Wellington City Council, CityLink set up CBDFREE, which has become New Zealand’s most used public Wi-Fi network with close to 75,000 unique users each month.
“By extending the eduroam footprint beyond institutional boundaries, we’re turning Wellington’s CBD into an offsite campus for the global knowledge community. This will help our city’s libraries, museums, cultural institutions and even cafés become key building blocks to a borderless, educated society.” says Steve.
To test the concept, REANNZ and CityLink first ran a three month pilot, extending eduroam into a test zone in Cuba Street, one of the city’s busiest social and activity hubs.
“Pretty soon we were seeing over 2500 unique eduroam users enjoying unlimited Internet access from the central city. Wellington’s buzzing education community is now being complemented by CityLink’s Wi-Fi network.”
REANNZ already deploys eduroam at all New Zealand universities and an increasing number of research institutes and polytechnics and is working to extend its reach off-campus.
CityLink CEO Nick Willis says Wi-Fi is now a must-have for the student community, particularly high quality internet access.
“Wi-Fi devices like smartphones and tablets have proliferated and with it the demand for uncongested quality internet access and CityLink can provide plug and play solutions for high quality Wi-Fi Zones anywhere in New Zealand,” says Dr Willis.
The eduroam Wi-Fi zone in Wellington includes: The Wellington Golden Mile extending from Courtenay Place, Manners Street, Willis Street, and important landmarks like Wellington Central Library, TSB Arena & Shed 6, Michael Fowler Centre, St James Theatre, City Gallery and Wellington Cable Car Terminals