Katy Gallagher wants to give us free Wi-Fi too

By 28 July, 2012 30

Katy Gallagher has come out with a few election promises of her own at an ACT Labor conference, and one of them’s looking suspiciously familiar. She’s promising to spend $1.6 million on a mobile dental clinic, and going full out on $3 million over four years to get free Wi-Fi on all ACTION buses, bus interchanges, and town centres. Compare this to the $100,000 free Wi-Fi trial the ACT Greens promised on Wednesday. Someone must decided free Wi-Fi is what’s hot right now.

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30 Responses to Katy Gallagher wants to give us free Wi-Fi too
#1
gooterz5:20 pm, 28 Jul 12

Everyone living next to major town centres will get free wifi.

Your connections will drop out as you pass another bus or go though a tunnel.

You’ll either have a massive bill or something that many people wont use.

But i’m sure they have no better ideas to spend our money on.

#2
urchin11:45 am, 29 Jul 12

free wi-fi in canberra sounds nice… but why is it necessary to give private schools $2.5 million for internet? i understand the argument behind limited subsidies for private schools as they lighten the burden on gov’t schools, but if a private school can’t afford to get hooked up to the internet then there is something fundamentally wrong with their business model. are there really that many schools out there that don’t have broadband? really? and parents still pay to send their kids there?

#3
PantsMan2:22 pm, 29 Jul 12

Let’s get this right.
* ACT Government loses its $40 million investment in TrasACT, who rolled out fibre to the node.
* Every household pays $5,000 in taxes so the Commonwealth can pay build the NBN as fibre to the home, but then still have to pay around $100 per month after the coaxial and copper wire is bought, nationalised, and then junked. The cheaper Wi-Fi options ruled out because they are “not as good”, despite there being no cost benefit analysis.
* Now the ACT pays another $3 million to buy internet from the private sector and unleash it on buses and in town centres, where reception and interference is likely to be horrendous and no-one really wants to use the web anyway (apart from trying to work out why their ACTION Bus is late).
* I continue to pay $40 a month for my Wi Fi dongle.
Sounds like a plan.

#4
SnapperJack4:00 pm, 29 Jul 12

The Greens tail wags the Labor dog.

#5
altkey7:17 am, 30 Jul 12

What a massive, unabashed waste of money! Why free wi-fi is the flavour of the month escapes me – isn’t taxpayer money better spent elsewhere, on any vital service you care to name. Let’s start with health, roads, or policing …

#6
PantsMan10:05 am, 30 Jul 12

altkey said :

What a massive, unabashed waste of money! Why free wi-fi is the flavour of the month escapes me – isn’t taxpayer money better spent elsewhere, on any vital service you care to name. Let’s start with health, roads, or policing …

Or getting the buses to run on time!

#7
Pillz10:10 am, 30 Jul 12

Looks like they’re trying to get the younger generations votes.

#8
c_c10:42 am, 30 Jul 12

PantsMan said :

Let’s get this right.
* Every household pays $5,000 in taxes so the Commonwealth can pay build the NBN as fibre to the home, but then still have to pay around $100 per month after the coaxial and copper wire is bought, nationalised, and then junked.
Sounds like a plan.

Would be helpful if you actually got it right.

But instead you’ve swallowed the Liberal Party tripe.

It will not cost automatically $100 a month, in fact most ISPs are starting at $49/mth.
A 100GB plan offering 3x the speed I have now with ADSL is $59/mth from iiNet (who own Transact).
The same plan at the maximum speed is $79/mth
http://www.iinet.net.au/nbn/nbn-plan-residential.html

Get your facts straight and stop being a stooge for Tony Abbott.

As for the WiFi, this plan actually sounds better than the Greens because they’re talking town centre coverage.
At the moment, one of the big problems in town centres is the density of mobile devices is overloading mobile networks, and that has gotten worse with 3G connections. So this does promise far greater benefit for the price than the tiny trial the Greens were proposing just for busses and interchanges. That said, the budget is in the red and there are far more important things needing investment. We’re also entering an era of 4G which will make this town centre WiFi obsolete in a few years, particularly when the digital dividend frees up 700mhz spectrum.

So I still say this is a silly and quite desperate plan from Labor.

I do wonder though if they’ll announce all the public artworks were really covertly installed hotspots and the Belco Owl is really wired.

#9
Chop7111:39 am, 30 Jul 12

lol, if in doubt just cut & paste

#10
JessP11:50 am, 30 Jul 12

What a waste of money!
If this is the best ACT Labor can do (which is copy the Greens and claim it as their won)….god help us all!

#11
AlpineViper12:10 pm, 30 Jul 12

What c_c said.

The benefits of free wifi in city centres (apart from YAY FREE INTERWEBS) is offloading data traffic from the mobile network and onto a wired network, via wireless LAN. Offloading is going to become a more important technique that will help prevent the mobile network from becoming so congested as to be completely useless. I read an article a few months ago about the Sydney and Melbourne CDBs already starting to struggle with congestion, which will only get worse as our mobile traffic demands continue to increase exponentially.

That said, I’m not sure how this works on a bus – clearly theres no wired connection from the access point on a bus

#12
Mysteryman12:31 pm, 30 Jul 12

c_c said :

PantsMan said :

Let’s get this right.
* Every household pays $5,000 in taxes so the Commonwealth can pay build the NBN as fibre to the home, but then still have to pay around $100 per month after the coaxial and copper wire is bought, nationalised, and then junked.
Sounds like a plan.

Would be helpful if you actually got it right.

But instead you’ve swallowed the Liberal Party tripe.

It will not cost automatically $100 a month, in fact most ISPs are starting at $49/mth.
A 100GB plan offering 3x the speed I have now with ADSL is $59/mth from iiNet (who own Transact).
The same plan at the maximum speed is $79/mth
http://www.iinet.net.au/nbn/nbn-plan-residential.html

Get your facts straight and stop being a stooge for Tony Abbott.

For the equivalent data allowance I currently get per month, it would be more than $100/month on the NBN. Consider all the variables before you mouth off and accuse someone of being a stooge.

#13
VYBerlinaV8_is_back12:46 pm, 30 Jul 12

Pillz said :

Looks like they’re trying to get the younger generations votes.

That’s how labor won the federal election in ’07. It’s a valid strategy.

#14
Baldy1:44 pm, 30 Jul 12

JessP said :

What a waste of money!
If this is the best ACT Labor can do (which is copy the Greens and claim it as their won)….god help us all!

Well said by someone who obviously doesn’t use Wi-Fi a lot and therefore can’t see why anyone else would.

#15
PantsMan1:57 pm, 30 Jul 12

Baldy said :

JessP said :

What a waste of money!
If this is the best ACT Labor can do (which is copy the Greens and claim it as their won)….god help us all!

Well said by someone who obviously doesn’t use Wi-Fi a lot and therefore can’t see why anyone else would.

Correction, increased the cost 30-fold and THEN claimed it as their own.

#16
PantsMan1:59 pm, 30 Jul 12

Mysteryman said :

c_c said :

PantsMan said :

Let’s get this right.
* Every household pays $5,000 in taxes so the Commonwealth can pay build the NBN as fibre to the home, but then still have to pay around $100 per month after the coaxial and copper wire is bought, nationalised, and then junked.
Sounds like a plan.

Would be helpful if you actually got it right.

But instead you’ve swallowed the Liberal Party tripe.

It will not cost automatically $100 a month, in fact most ISPs are starting at $49/mth.
A 100GB plan offering 3x the speed I have now with ADSL is $59/mth from iiNet (who own Transact).
The same plan at the maximum speed is $79/mth
http://www.iinet.net.au/nbn/nbn-plan-residential.html

Get your facts straight and stop being a stooge for Tony Abbott.

For the equivalent data allowance I currently get per month, it would be more than $100/month on the NBN. Consider all the variables before you mouth off and accuse someone of being a stooge.

And no one disputes the Government is kicking in $5,000 per household from the get-go.

#17
VYBerlinaV8_is_back2:10 pm, 30 Jul 12

Baldy said :

JessP said :

What a waste of money!
If this is the best ACT Labor can do (which is copy the Greens and claim it as their won)….god help us all!

Well said by someone who obviously doesn’t use Wi-Fi a lot and therefore can’t see why anyone else would.

Regardless, why should the government pay and not the user? As has been pointed out here and elsewhere, there are plenty of options for providing your own Internet access.

#18
Henry822:14 pm, 30 Jul 12

AlpineViper said :

The benefits of free wifi in city centres (apart from YAY FREE INTERWEBS) is offloading data traffic from the mobile network and onto a wired network, via wireless LAN.

I’m curious how many people you think would be using wifi? If you arrived there, expecting to get on a bus, what would be the minimum amount of time before it arrived that you would bother connecting your tablet/phone to wifi, accepting the T&Cs, then surfing the net?

#19
Chop713:31 pm, 30 Jul 12

Nothing is FREE, we all pay for it through rates, taxes, parking etc.

#20
JessP4:01 pm, 30 Jul 12

Baldy said :

JessP said :

What a waste of money!
If this is the best ACT Labor can do (which is copy the Greens and claim it as their won)….god help us all!

Well said by someone who obviously doesn’t use Wi-Fi a lot and therefore can’t see why anyone else would.

Thanks for your appraisal of my Wi-FI usage. I use a lot thanks, and I pay for my usage! Thanks for making assumptions when you have no idea!

I question the reliability of offering this on bus’s, the drop outs etc. Who is really going to use WI-FI on a packed bus between Belconnen and Civic when you cant get a seat and have to hang on so you dont fall over?

Is the money its going to cost worth it or could $3 m be used on better stuff for the ACT??

#21
LivesUnderBridgeEati4:02 pm, 30 Jul 12

Do you think we could get them to extend the free wifi to the Canberra Hospital casualty area as well? That would be great for the next time I break my arm and have to wait from 22:30 hrs to 05:30 to get past the front desk due to lack of beds…

Are we sure we can’t think of any better ways to spend 3 million?

#22
patrick_keogh4:02 pm, 30 Jul 12

VYBerlinaV8_is_back said :

Regardless, why should the government pay and not the user? As has been pointed out here and elsewhere, there are plenty of options for providing your own Internet access.

Plenty of options for generating your own electricity. Shut down that expensive network.
Plenty of options for educating your own children. Shut down the public education system.
Plenty of options for securing your own property and person. Shut down the police force.
Plenty of options for capturing and storing your own water supply. No more expensive dams, filtration systems etc. etc. etc.

Don’t you get the concept of a public good? This (metropolitan area networks) is better and cheaper for our society as a whole than using 3G or 4G to do the same job.

#23
c_c4:50 pm, 30 Jul 12

Mysteryman said :

c_c said :

PantsMan said :

Let’s get this right.
* Every household pays $5,000 in taxes so the Commonwealth can pay build the NBN as fibre to the home, but then still have to pay around $100 per month after the coaxial and copper wire is bought, nationalised, and then junked.
Sounds like a plan.

Would be helpful if you actually got it right.

But instead you’ve swallowed the Liberal Party tripe.

It will not cost automatically $100 a month, in fact most ISPs are starting at $49/mth.
A 100GB plan offering 3x the speed I have now with ADSL is $59/mth from iiNet (who own Transact).
The same plan at the maximum speed is $79/mth
http://www.iinet.net.au/nbn/nbn-plan-residential.html

Get your facts straight and stop being a stooge for Tony Abbott.

For the equivalent data allowance I currently get per month, it would be more than $100/month on the NBN. Consider all the variables before you mouth off and accuse someone of being a stooge.

No wonder the Libs are winning in the polls, people can’t do maths and just fall for any old scam.

At present, you use ADSL or current gen fibre, the latter only in CBD areas and maxing out at 30mb/s, the former maxing out at 21mb/s but for most users not exceeding 10.

So if we compare.
ADSL2 w 500GB downloads ar up to 20Mbps, but typically under 10 = $119/mth (Bigpond), $50/mth (TPG)

NBN 500GB+500GB at 25Mbps (faster than current ADSL2+ = $84.95
at 12Mbps =$ 79.95

and maxed out at 100Mbps, 10x faster than current typical speeds = $99.95

Sounds competitive to me.

Of course if you’re a typical user who just wants 200GB downloads at 12Mbps, you pay only $59.95.

#24
pirate_taco5:22 pm, 30 Jul 12

patrick_keogh said :

Don’t you get the concept of a public good? This (metropolitan area networks) is better and cheaper for our society as a whole than using 3G or 4G to do the same job.

Evidence?
At a per user cost of $50/year (assuming 20,000 users, $1m/year for 3 years) it is cheaper for everyone to use their own data plans (which the vast majority already have and are usable for more than the 45min bus trip from Charnwood, free of government moral filtering)
No evidence that it is better for society as a whole.

Canberra Time briefly published, then removed a link to a submission on how to better our bus network by Dr. Paul Mees – http://images.canberratimes.com.au/file/2012/07/30/3510331/Mees%2520submission%2520-%2520Transport%2520for%2520Canberra.pdf?rand=1343613343071
It makes a lot of sense, and mentions WiFi 0 times.
Faster, more reliable, more often bus service for less cost per passenger? It’s possible, and Canberra did it 20 years ago.
If free WiFi was a proposal last year when this submission was written, he would have dismissed it rightly as a useless gimmick.

#25
patrick_keogh7:09 pm, 30 Jul 12

pirate_taco said :

patrick_keogh said :

Don’t you get the concept of a public good? This (metropolitan area networks) is better and cheaper for our society as a whole than using 3G or 4G to do the same job.

Evidence?
At a per user cost of $50/year (assuming 20,000 users, $1m/year for 3 years) it is cheaper for everyone to use their own data plans (which the vast majority already have and are usable for more than the 45min bus trip from Charnwood, free of government moral filtering)
No evidence that it is better for society as a whole.

Canberra Time briefly published, then removed a link to a submission on how to better our bus network by Dr. Paul Mees – http://images.canberratimes.com.au/file/2012/07/30/3510331/Mees%2520submission%2520-%2520Transport%2520for%2520Canberra.pdf?rand=1343613343071
It makes a lot of sense, and mentions WiFi 0 times.
Faster, more reliable, more often bus service for less cost per passenger? It’s possible, and Canberra did it 20 years ago.
If free WiFi was a proposal last year when this submission was written, he would have dismissed it rightly as a useless gimmick.

I was not arguing about the specifics of on-bus wifi, more about the general concept of a pervasive MAN. So your user numbers are way too low. Agree that lots of other things are useful/important in terms of increasing public transport utilisation. Probably the biggest is to remove the subsidy that is inherent in the use of prime land for parking.

#26
kakosi8:31 pm, 30 Jul 12

Prefer they organise better treatment in public hospitals (like nurses who answer buzzers in the middle of the night, highly qualified doctors, and a system that doesn’t boot people home before they are well enough to cope at home) – slightly more important than wifi don’t you think?

#27
260410:12 pm, 30 Jul 12

VYBerlinaV8_is_back said :

Regardless, why should the government pay and not the user? As has been pointed out here and elsewhere, there are plenty of options for providing your own Internet access.

Plus one billion.

Anyone would be forgiven for thinking we had the proverbial rivers of gold flowing into the ACT Treasury, rather than arguably the narrowest tax base of any jurisdiction.

#28
dundle10:27 pm, 30 Jul 12

Wtf. Free wi-fi would have been great a year or two ago. Now most people have cheap data. The people who don’t either don’t want to buy or can’t afford mobile devices. Also I imagine it will be rubbish on an actual bus. What a waste of money, this is even worse than the “trial”.

I don’t think this is aiming for the younger generation, I only know one person my age without a data plan and that’s her choice, so she probably wouldn’t use wi-fi anyway. If she caught buses, which she never does.

#29
Henry8211:45 pm, 30 Jul 12

kakosi said :

slightly more important than wifi don’t you think?

But what about my status updates? What if i can’t instagram photos of lunch? how will we all survive?

#30
HenryBG10:22 am, 31 Jul 12

SnapperJack said :

The Greens tail wags the Labor dog.

Rubbish.

You guys need to show a bit more scepticism about the manufactured narratives presented to you by the media.

It’s the *media* that have reported the Greens policy, then reported a similar Labor policy in order to create controversy.

My educated guess is that the ACT public service (nothing to do with Labor) has been planning and designing wireless for buses for a while. The Greens/ALP didn’t *think up* this idea – they read it in a budget application submitted by the people who actually think up ideas.

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