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Free wi-fi launches in Palmerston North city centre

Press Release – Central Free WiFi

Palmerston North is fast becoming New Zealand’s best-connected city thanks to the launch of stage one in a two-stage Central Free Wi-Fi plan.
Central Free Wi-Fi
Free wi-fi launches in Palmerston North city centre

Palmerston North is fast becoming New Zealand’s best-connected city thanks to the launch of stage one in a two-stage Central Free Wi-Fi plan.

Activated Saturday July 30, the free wireless internet is available to residents and visitors in and around Palmerston North’s central city and sites within the Tararua region.

It provides near total coverage to the Palmerston North City Library, the Main Street bus depot, George Street cafes, and sites in and around The Square. It is also accessible at information centres and public libraries in Dannevirke, Woodville, Pahiatua and Eketahuna.

Stage two will extend access to other prominent parts of Palmerston North prior to the Rugby World Cup, making it the most comprehensive free wi-fi initiative in the country.

Mayor Jono Naylor describes the wi-fi project as “an exciting initiative benefiting residents and visitors alike”.

Vision Manawatu Chief Executive Officer Elaine Reilly shares this sentiment, saying the free wi-fi will enhance the city’s reputation as an innovative, business-friendly destination.

“I am delighted to see this free wi-fi up and running in record time – it further strengthens our region as a place that’s brilliant for business”, she says.

“Everyone, including residents, business people and visitors will benefit from this flexible connectivity.”

Initiated by the Manawatu Chamber of Commerce, Vision Manawatu and Destination Manawatu, Central Free Wi-Fi is powered by over $1.8 million worth of wireless infrastructure donated by InspireNet, and will be funded for its first year by the Palmerston North City Council and Tararua District Council.
Chief Executive of Destination Manawatu, Lance Bickford, says it’s little wonder this region is the first in New Zealand to introduce free wi-fi to the central business district.

“This is a region where people form strong partnerships and get things done”, he says.

The Central Free Wi-Fi service supports the use of laptops, iPads, and mobile devices, with free access limited to 100 megabytes per device per month.

Manawatu Chamber of Commerce co vice chair and advocate for the free wi-fi initiative, Brynn Neilson, says 100 megabytes of data provides plenty of access for users seeking to check their emails or browse local sites, but paid plans are also available for those who wish to increase their monthly limit.

“This free wireless service opens up significant opportunities for business, culture and education in our region”, he says.

“It is a significant achievement, made possible by local business and local government working together.”

Free wi-fi should automatically activate on users’ devices upon entering wi-fi hotspots. If devices do not automatically detect the network, users should run a search for the CentralFreeWiFi network before clicking to register their device. Once registered, the device will automatically connect to the free network when used within a Central Free Wi-Fi area.

Central Free Wi-Fi is now available at the following sites:

Palmerston North
• The Palmerston North City Library
• The Square
• iSite Palmerston North
• Square Edge
• The Main Street bus depot
• The traffic lights on the corner of Fitzherbert Avenue and The Square
• Plunket on Cuba Street
• The Palmerston North City Council Chambers
• The Coffee Club on The Square
• Café Express, Roma, Nandos and Bethany’s
• Café Cuba
• Moxies, Barista, MaoBar and The London on George Street

• Dannevirke Information Centre
• Dannevirke Library
• Tararua i-Site in Woodville
• Woodville Community Library
• Pahiatua Information Centre
• Pahiatua Community Library
• Eketahuna Information Centre
• Eketahuna Community Library
• The Council building in Eketahuna and Main Street cafes

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