Oldest park set to become best connected

HOBART’S Franklin Square may be the city’s oldest public space, but it will soon be equipped with some of the newest technology.

In a new project put forward by Hobart City Council Alderman Anna Reynolds, free wifi will be installed in the park in September.

“Internet access is really important for most people, it’s a basic utility like power and water,” Ald Reynolds said.

“The park’s proximity to the bus mall means that the free wifi will also be of really practical assistance to people waiting for buses.”

The $40,000 initiative is part of the council’s ‘Smart Cities’ project to identify and progress the provision of new technology to meet the needs of the community.

Ald Reynolds said the service would be faster than the State Government’s wifi on the waterfront.

“The capacity and speed of the Franklin Square service will be a big step beyond anything currently available in public areas of the city,” she said.

“The new Franklin Square wifi will allow for concurrent usage at high speeds for several hundred people and will also provide enough bandwidth to allow for interesting new events such as live streaming video into the square.”

The initiative follows a major refurbishment of the square in 2016 and the addition of a food market in warmer months.

The Council is also undertaking work to make better use of the roof of the Franklin Square toilet block as a stage space and trialling the installation of a ‘People’s Piano’ for six months during spring and summer 2018–2019.

Caption: Hobart City Council Alderman Anna Reynolds in Franklin Square.