LIEBIG Street and busy parts of the city CBD could soon have wi-fi hotspots with Warrnambool to be included in a massive Telstra $100 million-plus national wi-fi network plan.
The strategy announced yesterday will see wi-fi hotspots expanded in residential areas by using new home modems.
The telco will also partner with businesses such as sports stadiums, public transport and councils to bring hotspots into public spaces.
The latest network will be intended for people already on Telstra plans with whatever they use taken out of their plan. Non-customers will have to pay “small” access fees.
South-west Victoria area general manager Bill Mundy said the roll out would likely begin “in early 2015”.
“We will focus on high population, slow moving areas such as tourist destinations, entertainment precincts, transport hubs (rail, bus, car, air), hotels, cafes, and shopping precincts.
“We are currently assessing where these exact locations will be, however we have already identified a number of test locations and testing will commence later this year,” Mr Mundy said.
“We are open to discussions with the council on how we can partner bring wi-fi to Warrnambool.
“For an area like Warrnambool, where tourism and leisure are so important, this means people are spending time at local cafes or shopping strips they will be able to access our wi-fi hotspots with their portable device.”
Telstra chief executive David Thodey told reporters yesterday the project was one of the largest wireless broadband strategies undertaken in the world.
“There will be 2 million hotspots in the next three to four years.”
The Telstra boss promised regional areas “often ... left behind” would not miss out on the investment.