Easyweb’s free Community WiFi service, on behalf of Cairns Regional Council went live at the end of April. Back then it operated on two access points at the Esplanade and a mobile wireless internet connection. Work has continued on the project since then with expansion of the service area, a new fibre network and services going live in Babinda and City Libraries.
14 access points now provide robust coverage to locals and visitors alike from the sound shell to the tourist information booth and everything in between. A secure control panel allows Cairns Regional Council administrators to adjust time and download limited per user. At the libraries a separate login system is integrated to allow greater time, download and connection speeds for library members.
The Esplanade service has already proved extremely popular with more than 1600 sessions on peak days. iPhone users account for more than half of all users accessing the WiFi and Android devices come in a distant second.
Launching the service in May, Mayor Bob Manning suggested that "live-streaming of the Premier League soccer [was] proving particularly popular".
"Free public wi-fi has become an expectation of travellers and, if we are to compete in a global tourism market, we need to meet these expectations," Cr Manning said.
Easyweb completed the pilot project on tight timelines and with minimal interruption to the busy lagoon area.
The trial will continue until the end of this year with Easyweb providing data detailing where and when the WiFi network is accessed. If successful, the pilot will see a wider rollout of the free service throughout the Cairns