Victoria has reinforced its reputation as Australia's technology heartland with the nation's largest and fastest free Wi-Fi network switched on across Melbourne's city centre.
The first of many Wi-Fi access points across Melbourne has been rolled out as part of the A$11 million Victorian Free Wi-Fi Pilot.
Visitors can use the VicFreeWiFi service within all Melbourne city centre train stations, the Bourke Street Mall, Queen Victoria Market, and South Wharf Promenade at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.
More access points will be switched on over the coming months, with the full network to be up and running by the end of the year.
A free Wi-Fi pilot has been running successfully in Bendigo and Ballarat since December 2015 and has recorded one million sessions in the two regional cities since then.
VicFreeWiFi service will be the largest free public Wi-Fi network of its kind in Australia, covering an area of 600,000 square metres across the three cities.
Managed by telecommunications company TPG, the five year project allows for up to 250 MB per device, per day – and does not require personal logins or feature pop-up advertising.
The quality of the network compares with world-class free public Wi-Fi networks in New York, London and San Francisco.
The advanced infrastructure will also be available for piloting future connected city projects and for state and federal disaster response in the event of an emergency over the five-year pilot.
The service comes as Melbourne is expected to welcome thousands of excited footy fans ahead of the AFL Grand Final long weekend which starts tomorrow.An interactive map of the active access points available for public use is available on the vic.gov.au website.