Fraser Coast Regional Council.PHOTO EMBARGOED UNTIL JULY 28
Fraser Coast Regional Council.PHOTO EMBARGOED UNTIL JULY 28 Lauren Smit

Council investigates Wi-Fi hotspots for events

FREE Wi-Fi at public hotspots on the Fraser Coast could be a reality as the council prepares to trial pop-up internet spots at public events.

But it comes at a cost.

Council documents reveal the estimated costs to install Wi-Fi at about 20 sites on the Fraser Coast could be more than $648,000.

It follows the council voting unanimously to support the trial at Wednesday's meeting.

As a result, a trial for pop-up Wi-Fi at significant events across the Fraser Coast, with an option to extend it to various council sites across the region.

Councillor Paul Truscott said the idea of public internet was part of the council's Smart Communities Plan.

"But rather than do something in isolation for a trial, we will investigate further options by trialling pop-up Wi-Fi at significant events across the Fraser Coast," Cr Truscott said.

"The NBN coming to the region will bring a lot of changes and opportunities which need to be explored before we commit ourselves."

It is not known when the trial of free Wi-Fi is expected to begin.

While some sites already have internet, other identified sites include the City Park on Old Maryborough Rd and Charles St, Seafront Oval, Pier Park and Anzac Park.

Cost estimates discussed in council documents, including the installation of access points, internet connections, firewalls and switches, are estimated to be about $648,340.

"It should be noted (the list) does not include RV sites or the Sport Precinct," a footnote on the documents claims.

"Details investigation into the requirements to provide Wi-Fi to these sites would need to be fully understood before estimating cost."

But Cr Truscott said it was likely the council would look around for cost details, with the final cost expected to be provided "at a fraction of the cost" identified in the document.

"Having access to Wi-Fi is a very helpful tool to people visiting our region, especially for tourists," he said.

The council currently has more than 60 wireless access points to connect staff to the council network as well as telemetry systems connecting to water and waste water treatment plants.

Systems offering free public access are also located at the council's caravan parks, libraries, the Hervey Bay Airport and Brolga Theatre.