Kiwibank Logs on for Lunchtime Launch of Free CBD Wifi

1 September 2011

From today, anyone out and about in central Wellington can access free wifi thanks to a Wellington City Council and CityLink initiative - supported by Kiwibank.

Free wifi is now available in outdoor areas from the stadium to the Embassy cinema, encompassing the waterfront, the Golden Mile and Cuba Street.

Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown, along with representatives from Kiwibank and CityLink, will be in Midland Park at 12.30pm today - armed with laptops, iPhones and other portable digital devices - and will log on to help launch and publicise the new wifi network.

Mayor Wade-Brown urges digitally-savvy Wellingtonians to come down to the park and join in.

"This new free wifi initiative provides a great advantage for anyone living in or visiting the city.

"The way people communicate, do business or simply keep in touch with the world gets a huge boost with free wifi," says Mayor Wade-Brown. "The advantages for business are significant. People can access important information from almost anywhere in the central business district. Living in Wellington just got even better."

Kiwibank Head of Brand and Marketing Nicky Ashton says it's a pleasure to be a foundation supporter of the new network. "When users log on to the network, they'll see that Kiwibank is a keen backer of this great new initiative.

"Kiwibank is the obvious launch partner for this smart technology service. As a Wellington-headquartered bank, and one with a leading online banking service, we're excited about supporting Wellington's technology businesses, as well as residents and visitors keeping in touch with what's going on, and for that matter, with their banking!"

Mayor Wade-Brown says the timing of the launch is ideal - with thousands of tourists arriving in Wellington over the coming weeks. "This will be a great tool to help them navigate their way around our city, find local retailers, keep up with business at home, as well as contact their loved ones to tell them what a wonderful time they're having."

Mayor Wade-Brown says free wifi is an essential component in the wide-ranging strategy to refocus Wellington's economy towards a smarter, greener future.

"Wellingtonians are early adopters of smart technology so I'm delighted our city is the first in Australasia to provide comprehensive free central-business-district wifi. The Council has invested significantly in the central business district, and wifi keeps us ahead of the pack.

"Our compact central business district means free wireless is far more manageable to install than in most cities. We've got a huge number of laptop and smartphone owners in this smart city of ours, and we see this as a small step towards enhancing our digital and communications reputation."

CityLink Chief Operating Officer Brian Phillips says they have always been passionate about bringing the very best broadband services to Wellington.

"We're proud to contribute our extensive fibre network and wireless capability to provide free wifi to connect the vibrant heart of the city both locally and globally. People will experience a fantastic broadband experience - while having fun or doing business in the city," he says.

For more information and to find out how to log on, go to the cbdfree website.