Parramatta will provide free 5G Wi-fi access to residents and visitors to the western suburb of Sydney.
At 20 megabits per second, the council has labeled it 5G as its three times faster than 4G. Parramatta follows the lead of Wollongong, in the south of Sydney, in offering free Wi-fi for residents and visitors.
Using any Wi-fi enabled devices, users can access free internet for 30 minutes a day. Beyond that, the users can sign up to internet service provider W3 for continued access for $7 dollars a day.
The outdoor network runs along Church Street, from Riverside Theatre to the Westfield shopping centre, parts of Macquarie Street and the Parramatta river area.
The spokeswomen for the Parramatta City Council said that the upload and download speeds would be regulated at 20 megabits per second but added that it would also depend on the user’s distance from the transmitter and their device.
“The technology has the capacity of reaching speeds upto 600 megabits per second,” she explained.
The person behind the deployment of the network is Dustin Wilson, owner of W3 Networks. He offered to put up the infrastructure for free. Before moving to Australia, Wilson had previously worked on rolling out the world’s first fixed wireless network across 26 cities in the United Kingdom 13 years ago.
While speaking at the launch event, Wilson said internet was his ‘lifeline’.This is what motivated him, in part, in working with ParraConnect in building free high-speed wireless network.
Wilson envisions not only other councils creating similar networks but also the big mobile operators starting to utilize 802.11ac technology for mobile handoffs. He also foresees 5G becoming less fixed and more of a mobile technology in future.
The residents of Parramatta are overwhelmed with this new initiative and are hopeful that it will surely help them to access internet faster.
“I think it is really a good initiative from the Parramatta Council. It will help the residents as well as those also those who are working in the Parramatta CBD. They can access fast internet conveniently whenever required. It is a good example of using technology to help the people,” says Gary (Ganesh) Loke, Palmer United Part Federal Candidate from Parramatta.
Providing wireless internet is part of Parramatta City Council’s e-Parra strategy, with a vision to transform the Parramatta local government area into a smart city for future.
Mani Harmalkar, a resident of Parramatta while speaking about this said: “It is an excellent idea. I work in Parramatta and I think it will really help us to access faster internet to browse any information about shops or restaurants in the area.”
The council and Parra Connect implemented Wi-fi for the city’s libraries earlier this year.