The Wireless City

The Wireless City – What is the role of government in public Wi-Fi provision?

Support: RMIT Global Cities Research Institute

Chief/Partner Investigators: Dr Ian McShane (RMIT), Prof Jason Potts (RMIT), Dr Mark Gregory (RMIT), Em Prof Margaret Jackson (RMIT), Prof Catherine Middleton (Ryerson University), Prof Hasan Bakhshi (NESTA)

Timeframe: 2014-2016


Ubiquitous connectivity through mobile devices is reshaping the social life, economic activity and governance of cities. A new surge of government investment in public Wi-Fi infrastructure is occurring within a telecommunications environment underpinned by market liberal principles. This research explores the role and function of government in the provision of infrastructure for the wireless city by documenting and analysing the processes through which the Victorian Department of State Development, Business and Innovation (DSDBI) public Wi-Fi trials for Melbourne, Ballarat and Bendigo were conceived, negotiated, publicised and implemented.