At its Wednesday meeting , Fraser Coast Regional Council agreed to include the proposal for Public Wi-Fi as a topic for discussion during the development of the 2020-21 budget.
At its Wednesday meeting , Fraser Coast Regional Council agreed to include the proposal for Public Wi-Fi as a topic for discussion during the development of the 2020-21 budget.

Public Wi-Fi trial to continue on Coast

THE Fraser Coast could have free Wi-Fi at community events as part of a council investigation into establishing permanent public Wi-Fi.

At its Wednesday meeting , Fraser Coast Regional Council agreed to include the proposal for Public Wi-Fi as a topic for discussion during the development of the 2020-21 budget.

Councillor Zane O'Keefe said if the project was included in the budget, the council would install a permanent public Wi-Fi network on the Maryborough Town Hall Green as part of the Smart Community Strategy.

"As we develop the proposal to put forward for the budget discussion we will talk with businesses around the Town Hall Green," he said.

Cr O'Keefe said the primary reasons for the council to offer Public Wi-Fi were to encourage tourism and help residents stay connected.

"Research has found that providing free Wi-Fi in public open spaces and tourist hot spots, like parks and beaches, also has a significant impact on attracting tourists," he said.

Since 2017, the council has installed Wi-Fi networks at its caravan parks, the Brolga Theatre, libraries, airports and the Story Bank in Maryborough.

"Temporary public Wi-Fi was provided at the Maryborough Technology Challenge, Maryborough Carols by Candlelight and the Fraser Coast Sports and Recreation Precinct opening," Cr O'Keefe said.

"Initial cost estimates indicate that $15,000 is needed for the hardware and $8000 a year is needed to operate a node at the Maryborough Town Hall Green.

"To ensure that we do not over invest during the trial, we will use an external provider."