Councillors want free wi-fi in Todd Mall

Councillors this week rejected a recommendation by officers not to install free public access wi-fi in Todd Mall, asking for more information.

The main reason to not do it seemed to be cost, but councillors were not given firm information about this.

There is already some wi-fi access in the mall provided by businesses, some of it free, some paid.

Councillor Geoff Booth said, with council spending $5m on the redevelopment of the mall¬† “wi-fi should be there”. He said it should also be available throughout the Civic Centre. Visitors to council chambers should be able to download council business papers and reports, he said. (Council used to provide multiple paper copies of these in the public gallery and to media but is now trying to go “paperless”.)

Cr Chansey Paech said cost could be influenced by limiting downloads, without affecting access to internet, email and Skype.  Having wi-fi would encourage more people into the mall, he said.

Cr Dave Douglas suggested council may be able to get some corporate help to provide the service.

Crs Steve Brown and Eli Melky expressed support for the provision of free wi-fi.

Mayor Damien Ryan suggested that council ask for Expressions of Interest from providers.

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3 Comments (starting with the most recent)

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  1. Hal Duell
    Posted September 25, 2012 at 1:00 am

    The recommendation not to install free wi-fi in the Mall was formally lost last night without further debate, so Council will now invite expressions of interest from suppliers to install wi-fi for the benefit of all visitors to our CBD.
    I think this will prove to be a good move, even if some visitors decide not to spend in the shops while there. The potential for increasing the number of visitors to the Mall be providing more amenities outweighs, in my opinion, any possible reluctance on the part of the visitors to spend big.
    Just by being there they will increase all life, including financial life.

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  2. Lou
    Posted September 16, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    Free wi-fi will rejuvenate the mall? Seriously, who’s the genius who thought of that? Free wi-fi will only attract people who don’t want to pay for things! They’ll go to a supermarket to buy their cheap food and drinks, and they’ll sit on the rocks and benches scattered around the mall, plugged into the random powerpoints also randomly placed around the mall, and not spend a thing in the shops there!

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  3. Hal Duell
    Posted September 14, 2012 at 6:48 am

    Why would you attempt to rejuvenate the Todd Mall without blanketing it with wi-fi cover? Anything else seems to be short sighted and working against the rejuvenation being called for.
    It will cost, true, and maybe there is a good case to ask the Mall traders to contribute. But wi-fi is now expected by residents and tourists in public meeting places such as cafes and CBD lawns, so maybe its time to bite that particular bullet. Among other reasons, it’s how we read our newspapers in this emerging digital age.
    Wi-fi in Council chambers can be done be extending the existing cover already provided at the end of the building in the library. Council is to be commended for going paperless, a targeted goal for some years now. Former alderman Jane Clark used to push for this.
    Cr Booth raised the possibility of extending wi-fi into their chambers during the last committee meetings. This was seconded by Mayor Ryan and supported by all present. A good idea, and as one who has called for it, thank you.

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