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Interislander Ferries Offer Wi-Fi Access to the Internet

13 December 2010

Media Statement

Interislander Ferries Offer Wi-Fi Access to the Internet

Wi-Fi Internet access will be available onboard Interislander ferries from Monday December 13, 2010, Interislander Product Development Manager Greg Smith said today.

In a first for Cook Strait, Interislander passengers will be able to check emails, share photos and surf the internet using the new Wi-Fi Onboard service.

Greg Smith said Interislander’s onboard staff were regularly asked if the ships offered internet access.

Trials run on the three ferries – Kaitaki, Aratere, and Arahura - to test whether passengers would use the system, were a huge success.

“A recent survey of customers backed this up, with plenty of people willing to pay to use a Wi-Fi service. And it’s not just laptops they’ll use– all sorts of devices such as iPods, smart phones and even some gaming consoles are Wi-Fi capable.”

Now the system is up and running, passengers can buy a $7 access card from the onboard shop for up to 40Mb worth of data to use anytime on their current journey.

When they connect, they’ll be receiving and sending data via antennas called access points – discreetly located inside selected passenger lounges. These access points link into a dedicated network connected to the internet through cellular data aerials positioned high on each ship.

Specialised equipment ensures only those with recognised codes can gain access, undesirable sites are blocked, and bandwidth is fairly shared amongst users. The system is easy to use, and if help is needed, a 24/7 help desk is just an 0800 phone call away.

The WiFi access is available from today on Kaitaki and Aratere, and on Arahura shortly.

Interislander General Manager Thomas Davis said the WiFi development meant passengers can now take a photo of their journey through the beauty of Queen Charlotte Sound, and immediately share it with friends and family around the world via the internet.

“That’s a valuable service for our customers, and a first for Cook Strait.”


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