Australians will be able to surf the Internet at no cost on Telstra’s public Wi-Fi network when trials commence in November.
Telstra announced in May it will invest $100 million in a public Wi-Fi network. The carrier has since announced trials will commence with 1000 wireless hotspots scheduled go live in major cities across Australia.
Among the popular sites are Sydney’s Bondi Beach, Melbourne’s Bourke Street Mall and Brisbane’s Queen Street Mall.
Group executive of Telstra retail, Gordon Ballantyne, said trials will also take place in regional tourist hotspots.
“It is not just CBD locations that are set to benefit from this trial,” said Ballantyne. “Regional Australia will also form a major part of Australia’s biggest Wi-Fi network with a focus on regional hubs and tourist destinations in the first 1,000 sites.”
Some of the 1,000 sites chosen for the trial will provide coverage in:
• Bourke Street Mall, Melbourne
• Bondi Beach, Sydney
• Rundle Mall, Adelaide
• Queen Street Mall, Brisbane
• Elizabeth Street, Hobart
• Civic Centre, Canberra
• Hay Street Mall, Perth CBD
• Smith Street Mall, Darwin
The communications provider already has the contracts to bring public Wi-Fi to six stadiums around Australia including the Adelaide Oval, the Sydney Cricket Ground, and Etihad stadium in Melbourne.
The bulk of the public Wi-Fi network will come from existing customers sharing 2Mbps of their home broadband network. In exchange they will be able to use their home data allowance when surfing Telstra’s public Wi-Fi public.
Non-Telstra customers, and those who have not signed up to the Wi-Fi community, can purchase guest passes in exchange for short public Wi-Fi sessions.
Accessing Telstra’s public Wi-Fi network will be free throughout the trial period.
Telstra hopes 2 million customers will partake in the network, and claims the Wi-Fi hotspots will deliver speeds fast enough to stream high definition movies.