The Wairarapa village of Greytown will offer free wireless internet services along Main Street, an area renowned for its eclectic mix of boutique stores, art galleries and cafes.
In announcing the initiative this week, Stuart Roper, Trust Manager for the Greytown District Trust Lands Trust, says users can access the free Wi-Fi network immediately.
"The Greytown District Trust Lands Trust has a statutory responsibility to support the local community and Trustees regularly look at projects and ways in which this support can be achieved," says Mr Roper.
"The chance to provide free Wi-Fi for Greytown was seen as an opportunity to provide an on-going benefit to the town and local business."
Coverage of the free to use Wi-Fi network initially will extend along the heart of Greytown's Main Street from the White Swan Hotel & Bar to the Designer Clothing Gallery. Eventually, it will be extended to the northern and southern boundaries of the town.
Mr Roper says the initiative was reached following a partnership between the Greytown Trust Lands Trust, the South Wairarapa District Council and Masterton based WIZwireless, a broadband company specialising in providing wireless broadband for Wairarapa urban, rural and remote users.
"We would hope that as it becomes more widely known that Greytown has free Wi-Fi that visitors to the region will stop and spend extra time here," says Mr Roper. "Nowadays travellers are more sophisticated with their communication requirements and are constantly keeping in touch through the internet with their daily lives, family and friends via iPhones and iPads."
WIZwireless owner Bridget Canning is pleased to be involved in the partnership bringing free Wi-Fi to Greytown. She says the network will allow free public access to the internet for activities like clearing emails, checking up-coming appointments, connecting to social networking sites and having instant access to information.
"People can come to Greytown knowing they'll be able to use their laptops, their iPad or smart phones and access information on the run. This is increasingly important for people who are on the road with their job or for those travelling."
Mrs Canning says up to 800 subscribers can access the network at any one time with individual users able to access data at speeds of 1024kbps upload or download. She says users can access the network by clicking through a host page and agreeing to conditions of use. They will then have an unlimited time access or until they have reached a 100 Meg upload or download limit per day. The speed and data limits will be reviewed after each three month period in ongoing discussions with the Trust. There are also options for a paid service with more data and speeds.
Mrs Canning says use of the network will be closely monitored by a WIZwireless host server in Masterton with changes implemented locally if need be. She says the project also reflects WIZwireless' commitment to supporting local residents, schools, businesses and communities.
Destination Wairarapa General Manager David Hancock welcomes the new initiative and is confident it will reinforce what a desirable place Greytown is to visit and to do business.
"Our major visitor markets are significant users of technology," says Mr Hancock. "30% of Australians and 43% of visitors from the UK, utilise Wi-Fi internet locations for information and to purchase tourism product while they are travelling. This is a significant step for Wairarapa in meeting this demand."
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