Sydney is finally stepping up its technology game, announcing it's looking to roll out free public Wi-Fi access in key areas across the inner city. The plans are part of the City of Sydney's draft digital strategy, as it aims to boost Sydney's digital future, promote it as a 'smart' city and meet technological expectations. The City of Sydney includes the CBD, Darlinghurst and Surry Hills, Pyrmont and Annandale right down to Erskineville and Rosebery.
"The digital strategy commits the City to investigating the rollout of a free and accessible WiFi network," a City of Sydney spokesperson told us. "The City of Sydney is currently preparing an expression of interest for the rollout of free public Wi-Fi across our local area that will be released to the market in the coming months."
While free Wi-Fi is available at libraries and community centres across the city, a larger-scale public network for the CBD has been flagged as a must — especially as the Inner West, Waverley and Parramatta councils are among those who have already implemented free access. Melbourne rolled out free Wi-Fi last year and Perth has had citywide access since 2013.
As the CoS's strategy states, the infrastructure will ensure visitors and people on low incomes have online access and improve people's general experience of the city, making it safer and easier to get around and "help Sydney to market itself as a networked community and leading global city". The CoS will release an expression of interest for implementation soon in the hope that the Wi-Fi system will be rolled out this year.