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Wanganui's Free Wireless Broadband Trial Launched

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Wanganui's Free Wireless Broadband Trial Launched

Gonville and Fordell residents were queuing up to be among the first people to take part in Wanganui's free six-month wireless broadband trial, which was launched yesterday.

The trial gives up to 60 households in the Gonville and Fordell areas free broadband internet access for six-months, via a wireless receiver. A further 40 receivers are available to households in the two trial areas at a cost of $170.00.

Council officers arrived at work yesterday morning to find some Fordell residents waiting to sign-up for their free receivers. By lunchtime all of the free receivers allocated to the Fordell area had gone, with half of the allocation for Gonville being claimed at Gonville Caf Library.

Deputy Mayor Dot McKinnon is delighted with the response so far.

"Wanganui is one of the most digitally underserved communities in New Zealand. For many people accessing the internet has become part of every day life and they take it for granted. It's easy to forget that not everyone has internet access, either because of their location or other barriers such as cost.

"This unique trial gives council an opportunity to support both a rural and urban area to access fast, reliable and free broadband internet for six months. We will be able to assess the effectiveness of the trial, the costs involved and the impact it has on people's lives.

"Wanganui District Council is supporting several initiatives at the moment to try and get Wanganui connected to ultra fast, affordable broadband - this trial highlights our innovative approach and commitment to getting our community connected."

Funding for the free receivers for the trial was received from Powerco Wanganui Trust. The trial will run until December this year.

Gonville residents, who live within the trial area, can sign-up at the Gonville Caf Library in Abbot Street. Fordell residents who wish to purchase a wireless receiver can do so from the Municipal Building in Guyton Street. The number of receivers available is limited.

More information about the trial can be found on the council's website at www.wanganui.govt.nz.

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