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Optus and State Library of Victoria welcome WiFi
15 Dec 2003

The State Library of Victoria today became the first public library in the state to offer wireless access to the internet following the installation of Optus' wireless broadband (WiFi) network.

Wireless broadband, or WiFi, offers fast data speeds giving customers in specific locations or hotspots the ability to download information using laptops or personal digital assistants (PDAs) without the need for internet connections.

Mr Rob Parcell, Optus' Victorian Director, said libraries were an obvious candidate for wireless broadband and the State Library of Victoria was leading the charge.

"University students, school groups, business people and visitors to the library will all benefit from connection-free access to the internet when researching and studying at the library.

"Now students with laptops will be able to use their own equipment to view and download information from the internet, freeing up library computer resources. Also people will be able to choose where they wish to log-on without being restricted to the library's computer area," Mr Parcell said.

Anne-Marie Schwirtlich, CEO and State Librarian, said providing a wireless broadband network was strategically important for the library.

"The State Library of Victoria prides itself on offering patrons access to information and the latest technology. With so much information available on the internet and so many people using it as part of their research, it is essential we maximise access points.

"Many people enjoy the convenience of being able to research and write in a single session - gone are the days where you had to make photocopies of relevant texts and then go home to type up notes," Ms Schwirtlich said.

Wireless broadband is now available in the following locations in the Library complex:

  • the Entrance Foyer and the Library forecourt;
  • the Trescowthick Information Centre;
  • the Herald & Weekly Times Ltd Newspaper Reading Room; and
  • the La Trobe Reading Room.

Following completion of renovations, the new cafe on the corner of La Trobe and Swanston Streets will also be WiFi enabled.

"Wireless broadband is another example of Optus providing innovative services to the Victorian Community," Mr Parcell said.

Optus Wireless Connect Zones - Locations
Optus to date has more than 101 Optus Wireless Connect Zones, with a continuously growing network. Major location partners include, Hudson's Coffee, Gloria Jeans and Brisbane Airport. Customers can get the latest location list and maps at wirelessconnect.

Optus Wireless Connect - Pricing
Optus Wireless Connect accepts payment from all major credit cards. Usage is billed in per second increments based on the following rate schedule:

Optus Wireless Connect Plan Monthly Access Fee Establishment Charge Included Usage Excess Usage Rate
Optus Wireless Connect Casual $0 $13.20 1 hour* $12.10 per hour
Optus Wireless Connect Regular $5.50 $0 0 hours $11 per hour
Optus Wireless Connect Silver $27.50 $0 2.5 hours $10.45 per hour
Optus Wireless Connect Gold $49.50 $0 5 hours $9.90 per hour

*Includes 1 hour of free connect time which expires at the end of the billing period. This will be between 29 and 31 days after activation.

Optus also offers special rates for corporate customers. For more details, please visit: optusbusiness.com.au/wirelessconnect.

Hardware Requirements: Customers will need a standard Wireless LAN card that supports 802.11b technology, installed in their laptop or PDA device. Some laptops have the Wireless LAN capability built in otherwise, customers can buy a card from their nearest computer supplier.

Security: Optus has implemented a number of security features with its service. For greater security of data we recommend customers always log out at the end of each session, install personal firewall software and use secure websites where possible. Always use secure virtual private networks when connecting to a corporate network. For more information on Optus e-Security Solutions visit optusbusiness.com.au/esecurity/

Accessing corporate network/intranets: It is possible for customers to connect to their corporate network or intranet if their laptop is configured for secure virtual private networking (VPN). If customers don't have such a service available, Optus can provide this service via its Optus Secure Roam product.

For more information:
Germaine Graham
Optus Corporate Affairs
Tel: (02) 9342 5042