Telstra will begin the build of its new national wi-fi network with a hotspot in Adelaide, the telco’s chief David Thodey announced today.
A spokesperson for the telco said construction on the first wave of locations will commence before Christmas. They confirmed Adelaide would be in the first batch but declined to detail which other cities would be included.
Adelaide has an existing free CBD outdoor wi-fi network, provided by Internode, which was officially introduced by the SA Government late last month.
The 'AdelaideFree' network encompasses 300 Cisco outdoor wireless access points across most of the central business district.
Non-Telstra customers will be charged a small daily fee to access the Telstra-built wi-fi hotspots, which will initially be limited to Telstra fixed line, as opposed to mobile, customers.
Telstra declined to comment further on its decision to introduce a competing network in Adelaide.
The Telstra network, announced in May, will involve the deployment of around 8000 Telstra-built hotspots in social hubs around the country within five years, at a cost of more than $100 million.
As part of the project, Telstra will also attempt to convince home broadband customers to offer up their bandwidth for sharing with others, to create a national network of over 1.9 million wi-fi access points.
Those who share a portion of their bandwidth with the ‘wi-fi community’ will be able to use their broadband allowance across the international network of hotspots at no extra charge.
Thodey made the announcement today while unveiling plans to upgrade Telstra's existing mobile coverage at the Adelaide Oval, as well as introduce 1000 screens running Telstra IPTV.