Wi-fi project gathers pace

WAITING ON WI-FI: Obi McDonald-Saint and Ryder Saint, co-owners of Mullum Mac, out on the streets of Mullumbimby.
WAITING ON WI-FI: Obi McDonald-Saint and Ryder Saint, co-owners of Mullum Mac, out on the streets of Mullumbimby. Christian Morrow

THE Mullum wi-fi project continues to gather pace, with Byron Shire Mayor Simon Richardson offering support and encouragement to the innovative project that would provide wi-fi coverage over most of the town's CBD.

Mullumbimby Chamber of Commerce secretary Obi McDonald-Saint said the team had met with Cr Richardson.

"The mayor is very excited and supportive about the project," Mr McDonald-Saint said.

He said Cr Richardson was looking at a number of ways the council could back the project, from funding to putting infrastructure on top of council offices.

"The Mullum wi-fi initiative is a fantastic example of melding innovation and technology with community-building," Cr Richardson said.

"It has the capacity to bring our community and residents together on our streets to interact, to meet, to share, and any initiative such as this is warmly and heartily supported by council."

The pilot project area runs along Brunswick St from the council chambers to the community college, along Stewart St from the Chinese restaurant to the Japanese restaurant and on Dalley St from the veterinary hospital to the service station.

The team envisages setting up a community-based loyalty system operating across the CBD.

There could be a common reward system for the whole town, with people able to scan a loyalty card or iPhone in businesses from coffee shops right through to clothing stores.

The project would utilise 10-12 small antennas about 30-40cm in height, placed strategically and discreetly in various locations.

"We will now be putting a proposal to council so it can become a council-endorsed project for the purposes of accessing government grants and local council funding," Mr McDonald-Saint said.

"It will cost around $10,000 for infrastructure and the project is looking for 20 businesses to contribute $500 for set up. There will also be ongoing costs to maintain the infrastructure.

"Five businesses have so far stepped in to support the project and so we just need another fifteen businesses to make it happen.

"Linknet is helping out with the project and providing much of the required infrastructure and know-how."

Topics:  byron mullumbimby

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