RailCorp to trial free WiFi at Circular Quay

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RailCorp to trial free WiFi at Circular Quay

Trial trails WiFi launch on Sydney Ferries.

RailCorp will offer free WiFi at Sydney's Circular Quay railway station in a trial scheduled to run from September to November this year.

The trial will gather information about customers, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and the tender process for RailCorp to evaluate the benefits and challenges of deploying WiFi on its entire CityRail network.

A RailCorp spokesman said the state-owned organisation is currently selecting an ISP and equipment for the trial.

"RailCorp is planning the free trial of a WiFi hotspot at Circular Quay later this year to allow customers to access WiFi at the station," she told iTnews.

"Introducing WiFi across the entire CityRail network will take time to implement as we trial, refine and rollout a suitable and sustainable public transport WiFi system for our customers."

WiFi on ferries

RailCorp's WiFi trial follows other public and private sector ventures that have resulted in permanent WiFi services on ferries between Circular Quay and Manly.

Last month, privately owned Manly Fast Ferry introduced an advertising-sponsored WiFi service after a successful two-week-long trial.

On Sunday, NSW Transport Minister John Robertson launched a similar service on Sydney Ferries between Manly and Circular Quay.

The service is accessible via laptops or smartphones from the upper deck of all four Manly 'Freshwater' vessels, providing an estimated 16,000 public transport users with 30 minutes or 30MB of data per device each day.

Passengers exceeding the download or time limit can pay to extend the service.

ANZ has agreed to sponsor the service until 22 August in exchange for exclusive rights to advertising space throughout the period.

"Trials and testing have taken place over the past few weeks and we are now ready to open up WiFi services for all Manly Ferry passengers for the first time," Robertson said in a statement.

ANZ had previously announced it would offer WiFi services on Sydney Ferries' services in January but the trial was abandoned due to clashes with discussions on privatisation of the ferry service.

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