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Wireless computer connections go live

Wireless computer connections go live in three cities


Wireless computer connections have been installed at three sites in Porirua City, Hutt City and Upper Hutt by Smartlinx3, a company partly owned by the three local authorities.

WIFI connections have been installed at the Pataka Museum of arts and cultures in Porirua, at the main library in Lower Hutt and at the Expressions art centre in Upper Hutt.

"People can now link through the connections to the internet; they can browse the net over a cup of coffee and check for and send emails all in real time," says Smartlinx3 managing director David Haynes.

The WIFI connections operate through a small wire aerial located in a central area in each location. The aerials are linked to the main computer system in each building which in turn is linked to Cafenet.co.nz.

Cafenet.co.nz is owned by City Link which operates the WIFI system in Wellington City. Cafenet is also available in Palmerston North and in Nelson. There is seamless roaming between all these locations.

People wanting to use the new WIFI system in Porirua, the Hutt and Upper Hutt will need a WIFI capable laptop and can purchase connectivity over the line using a credit card or by buying tokens which act like mobile phone pre-paid cards. Tokens can be purchased at every Cafenet site.

Mr Haynes said the new facility was an exciting step forward. "People will be able to check their emails, do business or just surf the net at their own leisure from these three new sites."

He said the connections in each complex were unobtrusive or not visible at all.

The connections are the first ever in Porirua City and Upper Hutt. The new Smartlinx3 site in Hutt City is the second installation as a site already exists in a local restaurant.

Smartlinx3 has paid for the purchase and installation of the physical infrastructure of the new sites, and the local Councils are paying for the on-going cost of power.

Mr Haynes said there were no plans to expand the Smartlinx3 WIFI system at present. "Our main thrust is to roll out an open broadband network in the three cities as soon as possible. However, we are happy to talk to cafes, restaurants and others who would like to offer Cafenet through Smartlinx3."

Smartlinx3 was established part-way through last year to set up an open broadband network in the three cities Porirua, Hutt and Upper Hutt.

The development followed a report which showed that local users faced extremely high premiums from "big league" suppliers and that these premiums were a barrier to companies moving into the three cities.

Smartlinx3 is owned by the three local authorities and private investors.


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