Tasmanian government seeks operator for Wi-Fi hotspots

Free Wi-Fi will be provided for tourists

The Tasmanian government has approached the market seeking an operator to build and run free Wi-Fi hotspots at 50 locations around the state.

The plan for free Wi-Fi, which was included in the Liberal Party's 'Growing our Information and Communication Technology Industry' (PDF) election policy, targets shopping precincts and areas that attract significant numbers of tourists. The precise location of hotspots has not been finalised.

The government today issued a request for proposal for the service.

The company that ultimately wins the contract is expected to operate the network for four years.

In last year's budget the government allocated $500 000 for the project. The goal is for the operation and maintenance of the network of hotspots to not require additional government funding and for the operator to find ways to monetise it while not charging for access.

"The Respondent must clearly articulate the proposed sustainable business model for the delivery of this service, including where appropriate the nature of advertising or other commercial support, access speeds and download limits and any other conditions, restrictions, impact on users, commercial arrangements and assumptions that may underpin its proposed solution," RFP documents state.

The RFP documents also state that Internet access through the service must be censored: "Wi-Fi services should be filtered from prohibited and undesirable content in line with Tasmanian Government expectations."

"It is expected that access will be limited to web pages and social media platforms, with no access to peer to peer and file sharing services," the documents state.

The deadline for replies is 11 June, 2015.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

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