Adelaide is going to see an enhanced free Wi-Fi network introduced into its CBD next year — the latest in a long round of city Wi-Fi projects in Australia. Many are announced but never occur or shut down unexpectedly; which ones are still active?
Wi-Fi picture from Shutterstock
CBD free Wi-Fi projects enjoyed a particular vogue in the mid-2000s, but are less common these days. When millions of people own 4G devices and saving money is a key goal for most stripes of government, it's understandable that they have a lower priority. Add in the existing options for finding free Wi-Fi in a city (cafes, McDonald's, libraries) and the trials on public transport networks in many capitals, we should perhaps be surprised that they exist at all.
Despite that, a handful Australian capital cities either currently have or are planning free Wi-Fi in some city areas. These are the active ones we know about. (Again, we're looking here at broadly available networks, not libraries, shopping centres or other options.)
Adelaide already enjoys free Wi-Fi in much of the CBD through the Internode-hosted CityLan network. That's due to be expanded by March next year, with a total of 200 access points being deployed for a new network that will use the SSID AdelaideFree (Internode will maintain the existing CityLan system as well as helping construct the new service).
The network will cover most of the northern half of CBD between Wakefield and Gouger Streets and North Terrace. There will also be coverage in the southern half of the CBD, though this will be less extensive. As a regular visitor to Adelaide, I'm looking forward to it. No word yet on download or timing limits.
Brisbane offers free Wi-Fi on the CouncilWiFi network in parks throughout the CBD and further afield. There's a full list on the Brisbane City Council site.
Perth offers free Wi-Fi on the Perth WiFi SSID on the Northbridge Piazza and around the Murray Street Mall. There are plans to expand this to other CBD areas, though details seem sketchy.
Free Wi-Fi is available in Federation Square, and boasts of no download limits — useful if you want to leech for a while.
Free Wi-Fi is available in The Mall, with a one-hour connection limit (you can reconnect again after six hours).
Have we missed something? Let us know in the comments — but bear in mind we're talking generally available CBD Wi-Fi, not individual locations such as cafes or shopping centres. (That's a different and much longer list.)