This project is researching the current surge in government, market and community investment in public Wi-Fi in Australia.

  • Project dates: 2015
  • Grants and funding: Australian Research Council funded program DP150102818

This research positions publicly provided Wi-Fi as a type of urban and civic infrastructure and asks whether there is a sound case for public investment in public Wi-Fi by local governments.

Australia lags behind much of the world in providing public wireless internet access, but a surge of investment is closing the gap.

This field-based research will critically appraise rationales for public Wi-Fi provision by examining the social, economic and civic impacts of network use. This project will fill major empirical and knowledge gaps about investment rationales, uses, and impacts of public Wi-Fi networks, and inform development of urban and communications policies.

Key People

Lead researcher

Dr Ian McShane

Dr Ian McShane

CUR Deputy Director & Convenor of Urban Cultures and Technologies Program

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Project Researchers

  • Dr Chris K Wilson, Research Fellow, Centre for Urban Research
  • Dr Mark Gregory, Senior Lecturer, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, RMIT University
  • Dr Prateek Goorha, Research Fellow, School of Economics, Finance and Marketing, RMIT University
  • Professor Catherine Middleton, Canada Research Chair in Communication Technologies in the Information Economy, Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University

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Urban Cultures and Technologies

This program examines the interplay of culture, technology and city spaces.

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