Tag Archives: internet

Free wifi trial goes live

Media Release 23 October 2013

Council’s free wifi trial has gone live this week, with the last trial site in Enmore Park to be launched on Monday. The free wifi trial was implemented following a sustained campaign by the Greens through Marrickville Council, over a period of more than two years.

Greens Councillors Sylvie Ellsmore said, “I am absolutely thrilled that Marrickville Council’s free wifi plan is finally online.

“The Greens have been championing free or low cost wireless internet to be rolled out across the Local Government Area. We were successful in implementing the trial as a first step through a resolution of Marrickville Council in July.

“The wifi will be available in six trial sites at our most popular parks and public places. In Camperdown Memorial Park we are also trialling a solar powered hub.

“Free wifi encourages our residents to work and play outdoors, and importantly supports people with low incomes, including students, to enjoy our public parks and spaces.

Greens Councillors Melissa Brooks and Sylvie Ellsmore with local resident at Camperdown Memorial Park

Greens Councillors Melissa Brooks and Sylvie Ellsmore with local resident at Camperdown Memorial Park

“As a member of the Newtown Art Seat Curatorial Committee I am also interested in how the free wifi hub at Newtown Square might allow us to support digital artists to display their works,” she said.

The trial is being implemented at Camperdown Memorial Rest Park, the Newtown Art Seat and Newtown Square, Alex Trevallion Plaza off Marrickville Rd, the Debbie and Abbey Borgia Community Recreation Centre and Steele Park, on the Cooks River, and the Annette Kellerman Aquatic Centre at Enmore Park.

Hubs have been installed by company Star-Tech, which has successfully supplied community wifi to other local Councils. The hubs have an average 50 metre range.

Free Wifi Smart Phone Image

Free Wifi Smart Phone Image

Clr Ellsmore said, “Members of the public can login in to “Marrickville Council Free Wifi” without a password and enjoy up to 1 hour or 200 MG of download.

“I encourage residents to log-on and check it out. As the trial proceeds we want people to let us know what they think – by registering a comment through the free Snap and Solve App or emailing the Councillors direct,” Clr Ellsmore said.

For more background about previous Greens Notice of Motions and Council Reports leading to the wifi trial see: https://marrickvillegreens.wordpress.com/2013/10/15/freewifi/

To download the Snap and Solve App visit http://www.snapsendsolve.com/

Media contact: Greens Councillor for North Ward, Sylvie Ellsmore 0403 977 213, sellsmore@marrickville.nsw.gov.au

Free park wifi on track

***15 Oct 2013 UPDATE***

The Greens program for free wifi in local parks is set to start soon, with the 6 trial sites due to become live on 26 October 2013. The Camperdown trial will include solar power. Following the trial the Greens hope to see expanded free wifi across all public spaces and parks in the LGA.

Click to download a copy of recent Wifi Questions on Notice by the Greens about the implementation of the trial.

For more background about the Greens ongoing campaign for free wifi see previous post below

16 August 2013

Marrickville Council has voted to install free wireless internet in six trial ‘hotspots’, including several of Council’s most popular parks: Camperdown Memorial Park, the Newtown Art Seat, the WaterPlay Park at Steele Park, the Annette Kellerman Aquatic Centre at Enmore Park and Marrickville Road.

Greens Councillors Melissa Brooks and Sylvie Ellsmore with local resident at Camperdown Memorial Park

Greens Councillors Melissa Brooks and Sylvie Ellsmore with local resident at Camperdown Memorial Park

Greens Councillor Sylvie Ellsmore, who moved the motion at the July Council meeting, said “The Greens have been working towards free wifi in our main pedestrian strips and parks for several years.”

Greens Councillor Max Phillips said, “Staying connected is increasingly important in today’s world, so providing free wifi in our parks gives residents options to enjoy the outdoors while staying connected.

“Free wifi in our parks gives those without much means to have their own connection will be able to connect to the internet, which is increasingly important in today’s society,” Clr Phillips said.

Clr Ellsmore said, “The Greens had identified several models for solar powered internet hubs which would work in our local area, and went to the Local Council election promising to implement a trial.

“We knew that the technology was available, cost-effective and environmentally sustainable,” she said.

After earlier reports examined models that were too costly for Council, the Greens pushed for further work to identify more cost effective options. The report received by Council at its July meeting identified several companies which could deliver hotspots with an initial 30-50 metre range at only $3,500 per site, and an option to become solar powered.

Council voted to implement the trial for 3 years, with a review in 12 months. Council also moved to explore options to promote public notifications and create revenue through the trial. A copy of the full recommendation passed by Council is below.

“Free wifi is a simple, local action that Councils can take which is good for business, and good for our communities. It’s just another small way we can encourage people to use and enjoy our public spaces and parks,” Clr Ellsmore said.

Media contact:             Greens Clr Sylvie Ellsmore 0403 977 213

16 July 2013 Council meeting (Clr Ellsmore)

Item 23 – Deployment of Public Wi-fi HotSpots at some of Marrickville’s main public places 


  1. Proceed immediately with the implementation of a trial of public internet Wi-Fi Hot-Spots across the Marrickville LGA;
  1. Implement the trial at six sites:
  • Newtown Square and Newtown Art Seat;
  • Camperdown Memorial Rest Park;
  • Annette Kellerman Aquatic Centre and surrounding Enmore Park;
  • Alex Travillion Plaza, Marrickville Road;
  • Debbie Abbey Borgia Sports Centre; andThe Waterplay Park/ Steele Park adjoining the Cooks River.

3. Funding for the project to be considered in the next Budget Review of $65,000 over three years, or the equivalent of $3,500 per site per year, to fund the trial

4. Undertake further investigations to identify whether the Hot-Spots can be solar powered and, if this is an economically viable option, proceed with implementing solar powered Hot-Spots;

5. Noting the 30-50 metre likely range of the Wi-fi Hot Spots, where possible within the budget implement a second Wi-fi mode at one of the parks listed above to increase the reach across the whole area;

6. Delegate the General Manager to engage the company to install the HotSpots which is identified as the best value for money, under one of the options in the Confidential Meeting Papers, following further investigations to secure large or unlimited downloads where possible, within the confines of the approved budget;

7. Provide a further report to Council on options for Council to use the Hot Spots to:

a. Promote the work of Council and make community announcements; and/ or

b. Create revenue for Council through advertising; and

c. Provide a report on the implementation of the HotSpots to Council after 12 months.

See also 19 February 2013 Council meeting: Item 8 Deployment of Wi-fi Internet at Council’s Main Parks Feasibility Report, available from www.marrickville.nsw.gov.au

Greens Councillors Melissa Brooks and Sylvie Ellsmore with local resident at Camperdown Memorial Park

Greens Councillors Melissa Brooks and Sylvie Ellsmore with local resident at Camperdown Memorial Park

For more information about the Greens campaign for free wifi check out some of our older posts including this post from February 2013 at https://marrickvillegreens.wordpress.com/2013/02/22/free-wifi-in-parks-a-step-closer/

Free wifi in parks a step closer

In 2011 the Greens on Council moved for an investigation into free wi-fi internet services in major recreational parks. This week a report was finally brought back by Council, which identified one high cost option  for a trial in parks.

The Greens are committed to a low cost, environmentally friendly trial, and successfully moved the following alternative motion:

19 February 2013 Council meeting – Item 8 Deployment of Wi-fi Internet at Council’s Main Parks Feasibility Report

1. That the report be received and noted.

2. That a further report be urgently provided to Council with options for a low-cost trial of 5-8 wireless internet ‘hot spots’, similar to the trial currently being implemented in an adjoining Council, for Council’s consideration and funding in the coming financial year.

3. That the trial sites investigated include one or more of each of the following:

  • parks in an around major Council infrastructure – for example in and around pools located in public parks;
  • sections of parks which are known to have the highest density of visitors, for example Camperdown Memorial Rest Park;
  • squares or public spaces around Council buildings where Council is seeking to encourage greater resident use, including places identified by the Marrickville Council Public Domain Study;
  • one main street (following consultation and support from relevant local businesses which may be effected); and
  • Newtown Square and the Newtown Art Seat, or another suitable Council supported public art project;

4. That the report investigate, in relation to the trial sites:

  • cost savings from appropriately capped download speeds;
  • very low or no cost options with private providers; and
  • low cost, environmental friendly technology options including solar powered equipment.

5.  That consultation be undertaken with other local Councils as appropriate to share lessons learnt from similar trials, and to discuss potential cooperative approaches to providing free wifi in overlapping areas.

For more information contact Greens Councillor Sylvie Ellsmore on 040 977 213 or email sellsmore@marrickville.nsw.gov.au

Newtown unwired – ZonSpot Wifi plan

Marrickville Council candidate Sylvie Ellsmore and City of Sydney Councillor and Greens Lord Mayoral Candidate Irene Doutney unveil plans for free wifi in main pedestrian and shopping strips streets across the two inner-city local government areas.

The Greens today unveiled their plan for free-wifi in main pedestrian and shopping strips streets across City of Sydney and Marrickville Councils.

City of Sydney Councillor and Greens Lord Mayoral Candidate Irene Doutney said “Sydney is one of the few major international capitals that doesn’t have a decent system of free internet access in our public spaces.”

“The Greens are committed to make this happen, with an initial trial in Newtown of solar powered free wifi hubs. The “ZonSpots” as they are called are innovative outdoor desks with free wifi powered by petal shaped solar panels which provide free energy and publicly display the use of solar power.

“This technology is available now and already being set up in Amsterdam It is cost-effective and environmentally sustainable. They would be perfect for a sunny city like Sydney” Clr Doutney said.

King Street, which is on the border of both City of Sydney and Marrickville Councils, is being considered by the Greens as the trial site for the ZonSpot Solar hubs 

Greens Lead North Ward Candidate in Marrickville, Ms Sylvie Ellsmore said: “Newtown is a hub for students, workers and tourists. It is a thriving small business district, and its cosmopolitan atmosphere makes it the perfect place to trial this idea.”

“Greens on Marrickville Council have long advocated for Council supported free wifi, and have previously pushed for free wifi along Marrickville Council’s main roads and shopping strips,” said Ms Ellsmore.

“It’s a simple, local action that Councils can take which is good for business, and good for our communities,” said Ms Ellsmore.

Clr Doutney added that the ZonSpots also provide a space for advertising and could be sponsored by sustainability companies and environmental projects which would make them more economical and raise the profile of renewable energy.

Contact: City of Sydney Councillor Irene Doutney 0416 410 374 or Greens Marrickville Candidate (North/ Wali) Sylvie Ellsmore 0403 977 213