Lord Mayor announces new Wi-Fi roll out for the CBD

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk has announced that Brisbane’s digital credentials will continue to grow with new and expanded programs to build on the successful Digital Brisbane Strategy.

Cr Quirk said the Brisbane CBD would become a Wi-Fi zone, under a new project announced as part of his 2015-16 Budget.

“This year I am allocating $1.1 million to commence extension of our free Wi-Fi coverage across the entire CBD, allowing residents and visitors to use their mobile devices to access the free service in more areas of the city,” Cr Quirk said.

“Free Wi-Fi is currently available in the Queen Street Mall, across the Victoria Bridge, in King

George Square, Post Office Square as well as in the CBD Botanic Gardens.

“Making these services available in other parts of the CBD is a big part of what distinguishes

Brisbane as a New World City, alongside retaining a Chief Digital Officer to continue delivering our Digital Strategy and working with small and medium businesses to drive business use of digital technology.”

Cr Quirk said these Digital Brisbane initiatives were important in light of Brisbane’s expanding leadership in new industries.

“Brisbane is internationally recognised as a hub for the geospatial information industry which is growing at a rapid rate, and we need to continue to harness these opportunities. Last year

Brisbane was ranked in the top 15 per cent of international cities in the 2thinknow Innovation

Cities Index, up 25 places from the 2013 report,” Cr Quirk said.

“Brisbane will also continue to invest in our own spatial industries initiative, with a $243,000 commitment in the 2015-16 Budget for the use of Council’s new Open Data Portal, which will build on our previous successes.

“Council will continue to release SCATS traffic data real time feed which updates 3 gigabytes of data every 30 seconds and the Brisbane Arterial Roads Corridor Travel Time Comparison Data.

“New data will provide opportunities for local businesses and start-ups to come up with innovative products and applications for residents and businesses.”

Maree Adshead, CEO of the Open Data Institute Queensland said the ongoing partnership between Council and the ODIQ, was yielding positive results for local start-ups and small business. The proactive steps taken by Brisbane City Council are showing a genuine commitment to business growth in challenging times.

“The Open Data Institute has globally proven that making public sector data more open and assessable, can create jobs and growth through innovation so the further release of data by

Council, and making it easier to find and use on a more user friendly portal, is sure to be welcomed,” Ms Adshead said.