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Free WiFi continues to grow in Napier

Napier City Council’s support of free WiFi within the city has proven popular with both residents and visitors.

A free public WiFi service was launched in Napier five years ago by local telecommunications company Revolutionz. Council contributed to the implementation costs and provided access to Council assets, such as streetlights, to enable the network.

Since then the Council has partnered with locally based company WASP NZ Ltd for a project focusing on improving access to visitor information and Council services, enhancing users’ experiences. If it also means visitors and locals can access their social media sites easily, this increases the chances of both becoming ambassadors for the city and region.

Free WiFi points include Clive Square, and a section of the Marine Parade foreshore from Ocean Spa through to the Sunken Gardens. It is also being trialled in an area by the Maraenui shops, and will shortly be available at Taradale Library.

Being able to access free WiFi at selected points has been a win win situation for locals and visitors alike, says Council Chief Executive Wayne Jack. There is an expectation technology should be fast and affordable, and the Council is happy to help meet that expectation. 

“It’s important not only for our residents who have come into town but also from a tourism perspective, so people can get access to information about what’s going on in Hawke’s Bay.”

Free WiFi became available at Napier Library in November last year, after its refurbishment. Before then there were 400 WiFi connections, or hits a month. They now number in the thousands – this June there were just over 6000.

Napier Library Manager Sheryl Reed says while the free WiFi, which is available throughout the library and on the building’s forecourt may be the reason many of these people are choosing to come into the Library in the first instance, staff have found many are choosing to use other Library products and services as a result.

The project will continue to evolve, with other spots throughout the city being investigated for suitability for free WiFi.

Check out all the WiFi spots in Napier in the map below:

Napier WiFi map (PDF 3.14MB)

12 May 2017

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