Cairns Council is apparently set to announce a "Free Wi-Fi" trial service in the Cairns CBD, centered around the Esplanade and Lagoon area, to commence in April.
It is unclear how this service is being built-out and provisioned since there seems to be no contractual item in the CRC agendas since the original analysis. With systems in other cities being built for free by Google, Microsoft, and other vendors it will be interesting to see who's making money on this deal.
Hotel owners in and around the test area are known to be bitching vociferously to council staff about the plan. With hotels in and around the test area charging rates starting at $12.95/hour (some of the highest rates in the world) for in most cases appallingly slow service, they are going to see the loss of a major income spinner. Several in the "old boy's network" have demanded council ensure their hotels are left out of the wifi footprint so they can continue this gouge. Easier said than done.
Now all we need to do is get the Cairns Airport to stop being greedy bastards and open their wifi to be freely used. As are airports around the world, including the technological capital of Australia, Darwin. The Chinese arrive in Cairns from their country, only to find our hands outstretched the moment they step off the plane, for what their airports give us as part of their service. Not a good start to their tour of FNQ.