Friday, February 23, 2024

Free WiFi rolled out across Ararat

Residents, businesses and visitors in Ararat now have access to free public WiFi, thanks to a partnership between Ararat Rural City Council, Telstra and the Victorian Government.

Fast, free public WiFi and high-speed smart city fibre connectivity has been rolled out as part of a $1.56 million grant through a Victorian Government initiative to improve connectivity in regional Victoria.

The partnership with Council has seen the creation of 42 WiFi hotspots in key economic, tourism, recreation and cultural places, including Ararat’s retail precinct in Barkly Street, the Alexandra Oval Precinct and Gardens, the Ararat Active Corridor, and the Visitor Information Centre and Library. More access points will be switched on soon, including several in Lake Bolac by the end of the year, Council said today.

“This project is leading the way globally in providing public connectivity, including by using Wi-Fi 6 – the next generation of WiFi that brings faster speeds and less network congestion. In an Australian first, Ararat will also benefit from an open-roaming trial that will allow users to seamlessly switch between mobile and WiFi networks,” Council said in a statement.

“Both these initiatives will make the network more resilient in times of emergencies, ensuring people can make phone calls and access internet when they need to most.

“The partnership with Telstra also includes enhanced fibre connectivity, which will give Ararat Council access to ‘smart city’ technology. Smart cities use the Internet of Things to manage resources and services more efficiently. As part of this project, Council and Telstra are trialling smart technology like real-time environment and traffic monitoring, waste management and CCTV.”

Free public WiFi is also available in Ballarat, Bendigo, Latrobe, the Melbourne CBD, Geelong and Shepparton.

To find out more, visit Connecting Victoria.

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