One of Christchurch’s less well-heeled suburbs has been wired with a community internet centre, thanks to the efforts of the local council and volunteers and equipment donations from corporates.
The Addington Community Internet Centre, which has 15 recycled PCs, opened last week. It is available free to anyone who wants to access the internet or use email.
Things will get busier in January, however, when Christchurch Polytechnic computer courses will start being taught there, says manager Ian McAllister. Among the courses which will be taught are web design for beginners and “all sorts of options”, says publicist Michelle Budge.
Despite much of the time being taken up with courses, the centre will still be open for casual use, McAllister says.
Visitors so far include an older person wanting to learn to use the net, a younger person coming in to brush up their CV, and children, he says. The centre is open three days a week and one of several projects undertaken as part of the addington.net initiative, set up by several community groups and business associations in the suburb.
The next project is to get a website, Budge says. “It will be basic to start with, but then will include links and be a community resource for businesses and individuals.”
Equipment was donated by the Christchurch City Council, Christchurch Polytechnic is providing technical support and SCAP, a local community group, provided funding to lease the space for the centre.
Wiring and cabling is from PDL Electronics and Telecom is providing the bandwidth free for the first six months, “which gives us time to work something else out”, McAllister says.