FREE Wi-Fi for Ballarat’s central business district is on track to be switched on by the end of the year, according to the government.
The free Wi-Fi installation was announced for Ballarat, Bendigo and Melbourne’s Queen Victoria Market in March last year by the then Coalition government.
The first hot spots were turned on in October, with free Wi-Fi for a 200-metre radius from Ballarat Town Hall.
The service is planned to expand in Ballarat throughout the CBD, rail-
way station and Bridge Mall and Lake Wendouree, with more than 1000 access points throughout the state.
The pilot is planned to run for five years, will require no passwords and would have no advertising, with a $6.7 million contract with iiNet Limited.
Wendouree MP Sharon Knight said it was a service for both the community and visitors to the region.
Ms Knight said she had been meeting with council, who assured her it was being progressively rolled out.
Small business, innovation and trade minister Adem Somyurek said the project was on track and due for completion in 2015, however, legislative council opposition deputy leader Gordon Rich-Phillips said no new free fast internet Wi-Fi access points had been switched on since the single access point was launched in October last year.
He said by now there should be free Wi-Fi sites spreading across Ballarat, but Premier Daniel Andrews had stalled the project.
“Free Wi-Fi should be pretty simple. It’s hard to believe Daniel Andrews could stuff this up too,” Mr Rich-Phillips said.
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