The Sydney Morning herald has this report on the group behind the Free Sydney Wireless group on Facebook which briefly covers their origins and calls out to the community to let the writer know of similar inititives both in Australia and elsewhere. It’s not new news, but nonetheless, repetition of past stories serves it’s purpose to reinforce the desire to have such services available.
The opening quote probably parallels feelings the world over:
With Telstra and Optus looking like they were never going to get their act together, someone else was always going to.
The reason perhaps is that these publicly listed companies are required to return a profit to their shareholders, they are not charitable trusts. Because of this I would imagine that any official and large scale support for a service with little to no chance of returning any revenue would obviously be a long time in coming so, it really is incumbent on the community to ‘give a little for the greater good’ and perhaps then we may see the big companies lending a little support.
Hope for this corporate support is not such a long bow to draw as, something along these lines has happened in Franklin Road, Ponsonby in Auckland every Christmas for quite a few years. As I understand it, the residents of Franklin Road started decorating their houses with Christmas lights, it became something of a neighbourhood competition and, after awhile the local electricity supplier came to the party to help fund the power that these magnificent displays used. Franklin Road has now become a staple in our Christmas diet with us loading the kids into the car and doing a drive by for the last 4 years to see the displays.
Do you think something similar may happen to the WiFi project(s)?
I came across some info about Meraki and Free The Net initiatives in NZ only a few days ago at the below blog post:
And now there’s this blog, Free Wireless in Auckland. It’s great to see these community-driven Free The Net movements taking off all over the world – I co-coordinate the one in Australia’s capital Canberra … it’s only been operational about 3 months now along with Free Sydney Wireless – but the acceleration in interest has been awesome. Even if for some reason large corporations saw some value in enabling and supporting free wireless networks (clearly Google does) I think that the community has to be at the front for this to work. Corporations don’t do “free”; but your neighbour inviting you to use their internet? That sounds more like it.
As I wrote in a post on FreeCanberraWireless.net a few days ago I see some parallels between the free open wifi movement and the open source software movement of a few decades ago – and I believe that if OSS was successful then this will also be successful, for similar reasons.
Are you planning on registering a reseller/distributor in NZ? We’re thinking about it – but for now we’re just doing bulk orders to save on the rather hefty shipping fees – in fact I’ll be placing an order this evening to the value of $900 AUD … half yesterday’s fortnight pay gone, but I should be able to onsell most of these units (with no profit or markup) within 2 weeks.
Drop by our blog and send us a note if you want to chat any more about this.
Free Canberra Wireless (Australia)