Why every city in the world needs to blanket its streets in free Wi-Fi

Free Wi-Fi is awesome.

But it wasn’t until today, walking around Wellington in New Zealand, that I realised just how awesome it was.

Travelling outside your home country, minus your uncapped mobile phone connection is a hassle which free Wi-Fi eradicates.

Little Wellington on the east coast of New Zealand has this bubbling tech community with international execs flying in and out of the windy city and the blanket Wi-Fi coverage in the CBD is a lifesaver — especially if you forgot to turn on global roaming before you left Australia.

You can hook up to Wellington’s free Wi-Fi network in most outdoor areas from Westpac stadium to the Embassy theatre and stay connected in the waterfront area, Lambton Quay, Courtenay Place and Cuba Street.

And in some zones where the city Wi-Fi doesn’t reach companies like Trade Me have chipped in and installed free Wi-Fi for people walking by. In fact I’m writing this article right now on Trade Me’s free Wi-Fi connection, so thanks for that!

Wi-Fi is probably more important these days than those tourist information centres you find in big cities. You can find out so much and self-navigate unknown places and areas.

In Australia, Telstra has begun converting its old pay phones into Wi-Fi stations which enable people to hook up to the network but having blanket coverage hasn’t happened yet.

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