Community-owned fibre broadband provider, Enable, and the Christchurch City Council have today launched their new Christchurch Free Wi-Fi service in the central city. This means that Christchurch locals and visitors alike can enjoy free connectivity whenever they visit the city, powered by Enable’s gigabit fibre broadband.
The Christchurch Free Wi-Fi service extends from the Bridge of Remembrance and along Oxford Terrace to Victoria Square, across to Colombo Street and back down Colombo Street to the Lichfield Street corner.
“At Enable we’re very excited to be able to let our community know that Christchurch Free Wi-Fi is now up and running,” says Enable Chief Executive, Johnathan Eele.
Enable has invested in Christchurch Free Wi-Fi because having a high-quality free Wi-Fi service is key for any smart 21st century city – as part of the city’s economic development and tourism strategies.
“The high-level economic benefits of Christchurch Free Wi-Fi are important, sure. Today, I would like to focus on the real benefits for local people and visitors looking to use this exciting free service,” adds Mr Eele.
“Locals and visitors can enjoy free connectivity when they are exploring many of the things our central city has to offer. For example, connect on the way to Riverside Market for lunch, during a break at a Te Pae event or when in the city during the Tiirama Mai lighting festival on right now to celebrate Matariki.”
The Christchurch City Council are Enable’s key partner in delivering this project – providing Council infrastructure (such as streetlights) to install equipment on and utilising the Council’s existing internet connectivity.
“With the borders opening to all travelers next month it’s the perfect time to be launching this new free Wi-Fi service. We hope to see the central city bustling with visitors and having them able to access fast, reliable, and free internet will be a huge bonus,” says Christchurch City Council Chief Executive, Dawn Baxendale.
Ao Tawhiti Unlimited Discovery students help prepare for Christchurch Free Wi-Fi launch
Local students are another group that Enable hopes benefit from Christchurch Free Wi-Fi being available in our city centre.
“We expect students to take full advantage of this new free service. We hope they use it to access their learning or to create content when visiting the city – and, also to connect with friends, family and the world,” says Mr Eele.
With this in mind, and when Enable needed a large group of people to test the network before launch, they approached Christchurch city-based school Ao Tawhiti Unlimited Discovery to help. On Friday, 27 May about 60 students took part in a series of tests while walking the network coverage route.
“It was fantastic to get a big group of future users out testing the network before we launched. The testing was a big success and has helped us get ready for today’s launch,” adds Mr Eele.
Ao Tawhiti Unlimited Discovery Director, Anita Yarwood, says, “Ensuring our students have a deep connection with our community is something we value at Ao Tawhiti Unlimited Discovery – so we were happy to support Enable to test the new Christchurch Free Wi-Fi service. Having free Wi-Fi available is just one more thing that makes central Christchurch a fantastic place for our students to be based – and I am sure our students and their whaanau will take full advantage of this service.”