Redland City Council has knocked back a request to install free public wi-fi in four main city centres.
Instead, it’s going to extend the free wi-fi service in Capalaba and Victoria Point libraries.
A report to the council said it would cost $88,000 to set up the service in the four hubs and $11,000 a year to keep those services running.
Division 2 councillor Craig Ogilvie said he was disappointed free wi-fi wouldn’t be installed in four business hubs across the city.
“This is a small investment to make for the vitality of our town centres and it takes us from being Redland Shire to being Redland City,” he said.
“For less than $1 a resident, we would have had a service that would have brought in business and enticed young and old into these areas that need revitalising.”
Mayor Karen Williams opposed the wi-fi move, saying it was up to businesses to provide those services, which were not core council activities.
In a July visit to Redlands, Local Government Minister David Crisafulli said free wi-fi gave Townsville’s CBD a much-needed boost.
He also promised the council $200,000 to help refurbish the Bloomfield Street town square, with some of that money going to public wi-fi there.
The council also decided not to investigate using its own broadband system to assist businesses unable to access high-speed networks.
“Businesses are losing productivity and leaving town because they can’t get high-speed broadband and we should at least investigate allowing businesses to tap into council’s broadband,” Cr Ogilvie said.
Cr Williams said free wi-fi would not be necessary as the National Broadband Network was coming to the city earlier than expected and would be in Redland Bay by 2016.
She said she was optimistic developments at Toondah Harbour and Weinam Creek ferry terminal would increase the city’s chances of getting NBN.
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