Free Wi-Fi in City Libraries (Sydney)
A two month trial of free wireless internet is underway at five City libraries in Glebe, Customs House, Newtown, Ultimo and Haymarket.
Wireless internet technology, or Wi-Fi, enables adequately equipped computers to connect to the Internet without a phone line. The connection can be made publicly available through access points known as "hotspots". The City's trial is providing library hotspots of about 25 square metres.
The trial is being provided by internet service provider, Unwired, the only company that currently provides Wi-Fi with no cost to the user and without large advertising panels. The trial will also enable Unwired to test the service in public libraries. While Wi-Fi is common in public libraries in Europe, it is not used in Australian libraries.
The initial response to the service has been positive. An evaluation of the trial will include the numbers of people using the service and user feedback. If the trial proves to be a success, the City will consider permanent introduction of hotspots in City libraries.