Visitors to the waterfront in New Zealand's capital are set to enjoy fast and free wireless internet access in time for Christmas, thanks to a joint effort by Trade Me and Wellington City Council.
The free wi-fi network will mean that visitors to the waterfront will be able to surf the internet via a wireless network from Queens Wharf, across to the NZX Centre, and down to Te Papa.
It is anticipated the network will be all up and running in early December 2010.
Trade Me CEO Jon Macdonald said it just seemed like a good thing to do. "Trade Me is an online business and we love being part of Wellington. We firmly believe Wellington is the internet capital of New Zealand, and helping people connect to the web in and around the waterfront is a good fit for us.
"We started talking with Kerry Prendergast about the idea several months ago and she was strongly supportive. Wellington City Council has been great to deal with and like us they have a can-do attitude which has helped make this all come together pretty quickly. We see the service benefiting locals, tourists, travelling business people and community groups."
Wellington Mayor Kerry Prendergast said she thought the initiative was fantastic and it would be great to have it in place before the influx of summer visitors and the 2011 Rugby World Cup.
"Providing Wellingtonians and visitors with free wireless broadband access is a great thing for the city. Hats off to Trade Me for sparking the idea - we're rapt that Wellington will be New Zealand's first city to have free waterfront wi-fi," she said.
"It's also an example of the benefits that can result from local government and local businesses working together."
The initiative is purely gratis, and there are no commercial or revenue objectives. The service will be reviewed in a year's time.
The network will be called "Trade Me - free wi-fi". Wireless repeaters will be placed in and around the NZX Building on the Wellington waterfront. Trade Me will meet all costs of materials, service provision and bandwidth, while the Wellington City Council will arrange access for the placing of repeaters and meet the costs of installation and electricity.