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Free wifi for Carterton

Free wifi will roll out in the heart of Carterton on December 4. PHOTO/JADE CVETKOV

CHELSEA BOYLE

[email protected]

Free ‘Wai-Fi’ is about to roll out in the heart of Carterton, with a big stretch of High St and some of Holloway St about to go live with internet access on December 4.

The budget for the operation was $9000.

Carterton deputy mayor Russell Keys said the Carterton District Council had worked in with Technology Solutions who installed the wifi in central Masterton.

“They had been there before and had the expertise and knowledge of what was required to make it happen reasonably quickly,” Mr Keys said.

About six privately-owned businesses and a few council buildings had hardware installed for the project, he said.

Mr Keys said he was expecting full coverage along High St from Wild Oats down to the pharmacy with a small extension into Carrington Park.

“It’s mainly around the playground area, it won’t be out in the middle of the park.”

The access on Holloway St would be around the council building itself, as the Events Centre and library already had free wifi for people to use, he said.

“There is a 250 megabyte per day limit, that’s just been set along with how Masterton set theirs up – we’ve taken a few lessons from what they have done.”

The team at Technology Solutions had said that limit had worked well in Masterton, Mr Keys said.

“Obviously if that wasn’t working, there is the ability to alter that at any time.”

The push for free wifi had come from economic development advisory group chaired by Carterton District councillor Greg Lang.

“The main reason [to get the wifi access] was that it helps the CBD, it adds another element,” he said.

“It’s fantastic for visitors and being in a CBD is all about making people linger longer – certainly, wifi will help.”

Mr Lang said it would have been much easier to roll out free wifi in the CBDs across Wairarapa in one go.

“Imagine the costings of each town working it out themselves [in comparison].”

Carterton District Council chief executive Jane Davis said the wifi would be good for visitors and locals alike.

Retailers had appreciated that what was good for them was good for Carterton as well, she said.

“We have had an absolutely fantastic response from the owners that we have approached, everybody was really keen.

“It’s been a really popular move.”

Carterton Mayor John Booth said it was a “fantastic” initiative that would be a great benefit to visitors, especially ahead of summertime.

“You go all over the country, it’s standard practice now,” he said.

“This just shows Carterton is up there at the forefront with everyone else.”

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