CONNECTING ARARAT WITH FREE WIFI

A re-elected Andrews Labor Government will bring the Victorian free public Wi-Fi network – the largest free outdoor network of its kind in Australia – to Ararat.

The free public Wi-Fi service will allow Ararat locals, businesses and visitors to more easily access web-based information, education and e-commerce resources, minimise blackspots as well as use social media and provide video calls.

The Andrews Labor Government has already invested in free Wi-Fi across areas such as Bendigo, Ballarat, Geelong and Shepparton, with 600,000 square metres of coverage provided.

Free Wi-Fi has been running successfully in Bendigo and Ballarat since December 2015, and recorded over one million sessions during the first nine months of the program.  

The Ararat Wi-Fi rollout continues the Labor Government’s Connecting Regional Communities Program, which received $45 million in the 2017/18 Victorian Budget.

This program has also funded projects such as mobile coverage on the state’s five busiest regional rail lines, eradicating regional mobile black spots and enhanced broadband in regional centres.

A re-elected Labor Government will work with the community and local businesses through the Central Highlands Regional Partnership to determine the coverage of free Wi-Fi across Ararat.

Work on the project will commence next year, with the project to be rolled-out by the end of 2020. 

Quotes attributable to Minister for Regional Development Jaala Pulford

“Many parts of regional Victoria are held back by the digital divide – that’s why we’re rolling out projects that will close it. It’s about ensuring regional Victorians are better connected and boosting jobs.”

“We are excited to announce that the next town to benefit from our Wi-Fi roll-out will be Ararat. This will ensure that Ararat locals and visitors can access the information they need, when they need it. “

Quotes attributable to Labor Candidate for Ripon Sarah De Santis

“Free Wi-Fi for Ararat is fantastic news for locals and helps support our businesses, schools and tourists.”

“It’s only Labor that backs Ararat, and we’ll continue to work hard to make it a great place to live, work and do business.”