Free wifi in Sydney

There we go… that title ought to attract a few extra referrals from Google over the next couple of days. [edit: seemingly, it will also attract a mass of spam comments within hours of posting.]

Just read a very interesting article on smh about free wireless around Sydney. A group of nerds are seemingly frustrated at the government’s lack of speed at setting up free wireless in Sydney, and so have started their own development of a network. They’re using devices made by a company called Meraki. In essence, these devices are repeaters that connect to each other, but not all devices need to be connected to the internet.

The network that they’re creating is only in its very early days – as a group, they purchased all the Meraki devices (only about $AU50 each) in November, and so are setting and mapping them now.

It’s such an awesome idea… and it’s great to think that in just a couple of months these people have started creating a network around Sydney that is visible. I think there’s huge potential for free wireless internet to be pretty huge in the CBD by even the end of the year. It would be great to just be able to be somewhere with a PDA and just be able to log on to check email quickly without having to dial into your telco’s mobile internet session and pay a lot. Sweet.

Think I might do some war-walking around the CBD this arvo to see if I can find parts of the network…

  1. Open mesh’s avatar

    Meraki business model is flawed. Their tool bar is really ugly and it sometimes covers my gmail links of the top. Open mesh is a similar project but open source and it can run on cheaper fon hardware.

  2. Rollo’s avatar

    Who would be authorised to provide the free wireless network? Which commercial entity would provide such a service?
    The government doesn’t actually own the facilities to provide such a network, then there’s the question of which level would administer it. Is it state or federal?

    I think this is doomed before it started.


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