Free wifi plan for Rotorua CBD
Rotorua District Council is planning to offer free wifi within the CBD as part of measures to revitalise the downtown area.
The council has allocated $60,000 for wifi in the economic projects budget of its long-term plan and is calling for tenders from companies interested in providing the service in Rotorua.
Council economic projects manager Nick Dallimore says the provision of a free public wifi service is integral to the council’s Urban Design Framework programme to upgrade the CBD and the city’s recently developed Sustainable Economic Growth Strategy.
“It means visitors whether on holiday, business or in town for a conference, and local residents, would all have free and instant access to the web from their laptops, tablets and smart phones in most public places in the central city.
“And when they access the web through our wifi connection we would be able to feed them information and promote Rotorua and its services at the same time, so it’s a classic win-win situation.
“Competition for the status of being one of New Zealand’s top tourism destinations is exceptionally strong right now and many other regions have been lifting their game over recent years and investing big dollars in visitor attraction services and facilities.
“Free wifi is a service many have already implemented, so we’re playing catch-up to some extent.”
Mr Dallimore says the provision of free wfi will also provide a vehicle for promoting local events, offering information to locals and visitors, and the potential for commercial promotion based on geographical locations around town.
The council wants to ensure the project is cost-effective and it has a clear preference for identifying a service provider who can offer a quality wifi facility without the council incurring extra ongoing costs or the need for additional council resources, he says.