Hutt City centre to get free wi-fi

Partnership between Hutt City Council and Smartlinx 3 will enable free wi-fi in central business district

Hutt City’s central business district is about to get free wi-fi following a partnership arrangement between Hutt City Council and Smartlinx 3.

The agreement is for the implementation of public free wi-fi in the High Street, from Waterloo to Laings Road, and including The Dowse Square, Andrews Avenue, Margaret and Bunny streets.

Lower Hutt mayor Ray Wallace says: “This is another step forward as we continue on the Making Places initiatives toward revitalising the CBD. Everyone is on the move with mobile devices. People will be able to connect and undertake business outside their office.”

The system is expected to go live by May, depending on consents from building owners and the installation of equipment.

Smartlinx 3 managing director Roger MacDonald says the council is making good use of Smartlinx’s expanded fibre network by providing free wi-fi.

“This will stimulate life and business activity within the central city,” he says. “Consumers crave connectivity wherever they are.”

Smartlinx provides the connectivity for free wi-fi in nearby Petone, which went live two years ago.

The council hasn’t disclosed the costs of the new service.

On the other side of Wellington harbour, the Wellington City Council has been delivering free wi-fi for more than a year.

Its annual operating cost is $216,000. The council says it recovered $60,000 in 2012 from advertising on the service.

Around 35,000 people used the service in January this year. The council says 57 percent were either new users or had new devices.

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