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Free public Wi-Fi is finally coming to the CBD

Written by
Juliana Yu

Tired of sheepishly asking baristas for the Wi-Fi password, or spending the last week of every month staring into the void on commutes because your phone data’s run out? Here’s some good news – free public Wi-Fi is finally on the way.

The City of Sydney is currently seeking service providers to run free public Wi-Fi, estimating a roll-out within the next two years. Similar programs have been running successfully for years everywhere from Bondi Beach to Manly Beach and the Corso, Parramatta (from Church Street to Riverside Theatre), central Penrith and Campbelltown, but until now there hasn’t been a move to do the same in the CBD.

It’s a big win for tourists and people who like to work outside of the office, who’ll be able to stay connected no matter where they are. Freelancers: 1, wanky cafés that don’t have Wi-Fi because they want to encourage “real human connections”: 0.

Sydney’s streets will also start to look a little different with a city-wide overhaul of its ‘street furniture’ from 2019. Bus shelters, kiosks, automatic toilets, benches and bins will progressively be replaced with a new suite equipped with ‘smart’ technology. What that means exactly is yet to be seen, but it’ll comprise things like bus shelters showing real-time travel information, event and emergency updates.

Better late than never, but shout out to anyone living out west, who’ll recall that the T-Way had real-time data on their bus shelters in 2003, long before TripView existed.

In the meantime, here's a handy list of cafés in Sydney with free Wi-Fi.

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