Speed of proposed CBD wi-fi unknown

SPEED OF PROPOSED CBD WI-FI UNKNOWN

DETAILS regarding the potential speed of a proposed wi-fi connection to Launceston's central business district will not be released until late January.

The Launceston City Council yesterday would not comment on speeds under consideration for its wi-fi proposition, which would see the service introduced to the Brisbane Street Mall, Civic Square and The Avenue.

Alderman Tony Peck yesterday said the decision on providing users with a capped 30-minute usage of the service would be made at the council's first meeting for 2014 on January 28.

Alderman Peck said his decision to forward the motion came after experiencing similar services in his travels to Alice Springs and Darwin.

"Loosely, I think we should give people 20 minutes or 30 minutes of free time, otherwise they'll be able to download all sorts of things," he said.

"It's a way of life these days, it's important that the city keeps up with other parts of Tasmania that are  doing it - I congratulate them, I think it's fantastic."

Alderman Peck said the initiative could be open to things such as local business advertising, if users wished to have more connection time on the service.

"There's lots of options available to go about it," he said.

"If people want to continue for free they might listen or look at a few ads - a big store in town could put an ad in which would give people another 10 minutes.

"The idea at the moment is just to keep it simple."

FREE WI-FI ATTRACTS TOURISTS, RESIDENTS TO LAUNCESTON CAFE

FREE wi-fi services have been an invaluable asset for Launceston's This Cafe, according to owners Lyndel and Max Rawlings.

Mrs Rawlings said the cafe was one of the first venues in the city to host free wi-fi, which has resulted in numerous guests and return visitors throughout their ownership.

``We've been in here for just over four years and we set up free wi-fi almost instantly,'' she said.

``It brings tourists into the cafe and they keep coming back because they know they can access it here.

``New residents can also come in and use it to keep in touch with their family.''

Mr Rawlings said the cafe had a spare computer, a printer and invested in a 250-gigabyte wi-fi allowance, which had not yet been exceeded.

``It's been really valuable for the business, it also gives us the opportunity to talk to tourists. We can let them know where to go, or what's worth visiting,'' he said.

``Many of them will come in and say goodbye before they go home.''

The pair were encouraging of a Launceston City Council plan to bring free wi-fi to Launceston's central business district.

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