22 May Telstra’s Plan to Create One of the World’s Largest WiFi Networks.
Telstra is set to create one of the world’s largest WiFi networks to increase connectivity for all Australians.
The initiative will cost over $100 million and will take five years to complete. Scheduled to launch in 2015, the WiFi network will comprise of 2 million hot spots spanning the nation.
Telstra aims to facilitate this by enlisting the help of its home broadband customers, as well as local councils and businesses across Australia. Councils and businesses will offer wireless access to their internet connections, while Telstra home broadband customers will be asked to share a small portion of their home bandwidth securely with other Telstra customers. Telstra will also build more than 8000 WiFi hotspots across the country to bring connectivity to shopping strips, business centres and transport hubs.
The network is expected to be accessible to everyone, not just Telstra customers, for a small daily fee. Telstra customers who choose to share their bandwidth will be provided with a new secure modem. They will also have free access as their data will simply be deducted from their residential data plan.
There will also be special access options for Telstra mobile customers who don’t have a residential broadband plan with Telstra.
As part of a deal with global WiFi provider Fon, the network will also reportedly reach overseas and will allow people to connect at roughly 12 million international hot spots across countries including Germany, Poland, the UK, France and Japan. This is great for travellers worried about roaming costs, as Telstra Broadband customers will be able to use their home broadband data quota while abroad instead of the usual data roaming costs.
Telstra CEO, David Thodey believes their WiFi network will change the way people connect.
“It’s a bit innovative, it’s a bit different, and we think this is really going to provide a different way for people to communicate,” he said.
This Telstra network will also help meet the current and future data needs of the Australian public.
“Today more than 20 million devices are connected to the mobile internet in Australia. This investment helps us connect the next 20 million and create an environment where our customers can read the news over breakfast at home, upload photos to Facebook while waiting for a train, check email between meetings at a local cafe and load match scores at the big game at night – all over Telstra Wi-Fi.”
There will be a number of ways in which Australians will be able to access the Telstra Wi-Fi network including bandwidth sharing and small payments. To see the full list you can read the release on the Telstra website here.