GOLD Coasters will soon be able to access wi-fi in local cafes, shopping areas, stadiums and transport hubs around the country.
Telstra has unveiled plans to create one of the world’s largest Wi-Fi networks by 2015, giving Australian’s access two million Wi-Fi hotspots in just five years.
To create the network, Telstra home broadband customers will be asked to share a portion of their bandwidth with other Telstra Wi-Fi customers. In exchange, customers can then use their own home broadband allowance at Telstra hotspots across the country.
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To create more hotspots, Telstra will:
• Build more than 8000 Wi-Fi hotspots to bring Wi-Fi internet to community areas and social precincts as well as shopping strips, business centres and transport hubs.
• Work with small businesses to bring Telstra Wi-Fi to cafes, shops and waiting rooms
• Partner with councils, business enterprises and governments to bring Wi-Fi to parks, stadiums and public buildings
The new network will also reach overseas, allowing Telstra customers to connect at more than 12 million international hotspots as part of an exclusive deal with global Wi-Fi provider Fon.
Telstra CEO, David Thodey said the plan will give people a convenient way to get online using their portable devices when spending time at a hotspot.
“It will offer our customers the unique option to seamlessly use their home broadband allowance inside and outside the home,” he said.
“The network will be built by Telstra, but brought to life, in part, by our customers and we’re really looking forward to watching it grow.
“It will be a living community, steadily growing; house by house, street by street, business by business leveraging the capacity we continue to add to our core fibre network, as well as the NBN as it is rolled out to customers.”
Australians will be able to access Telstra Wi-Fi in the following ways:
•Telstra home broadband customers with a compatible gateway who join the Wi-Fi community can use their broadband allowance at no extra charge.
•Non Telstra customers and Telstra customers who have not joined the Wi-Fi community will be able to connect to Fon-enabled Telstra Wi-Fi hotspots for a small charge
•Over time Telstra Wi-Fi access will be offered to Telstra mobile-only customers.