What is a WiFi Hotspot?
A public WiFi Hotspot is a location, such as a café, restaurant or resort, offering WiFi internet connection to people with a suitable device such as a smartphone, tablet, laptop or other WiFi-enabled devices. In most cases you will be asked to connect to the WiFi service using a username and password, generally available at the locations reception or information desk. Often this service is provided free of charge to customers but may have some restrictions such as a limit on download speed, cap on amount of data that can be downloaded, amount of time spent on the service or even restrictions on which web pages are accessible.
WiFi access in Port Macquarie
Port Macquarie and surrounding towns provide many location where public WiFi is available. If you are looking for a cafe, feel like a work out, or even need to get your laundry done, free WiFi is available in a large range of businesses. Refer to this Google Map to find a list of providers.
Using Public WiFi safely
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has published an informative Guide to public WiFi hotspots in Australia to help you be informed when using these services.
Key topics include:
- What is a public WiFi hotspot?
- How do I find a public WiFi hotspot?
- How do I connect to a public WiFi hotspot?
- Is a public WiFi hotspot secure?
- What can I do at a public WiFi hotspot?
- What are the major types of public WiFi hotspots in Australia?
- What types of access are offered at public WiFi hotspots?
- What are the potential online threats and ways I can protect myself when using public WiFi hotspots?
- How can I make a complaint about a public WiFi hotspot?
The benefits of businesses providing WiFi to customers
The WiFi revolution has taken the world by storm in recent years. From fitness centers to car dealerships to coffee shops and restaurants, free WiFi access is fast becoming a prominent customer expectation. People are using the Internet more and more frequently on mobile devices and they expect to be able to access high-speed WiFi Hotspots while on the go. If you have a business where customers linger, offering free WiFi can provide a range of benefits:
- Increased foot traffic
Offering fast, free WiFi at your business can put you on the map for people who would otherwise not notice you. In addition, customers passing by looking to connect to the Internet will see your WiFi network and likely be drawn into your premises.
- Increased time on premises means $
According to a number of surveys, consumers tend to stay longer if they can use their tablets and laptops via WiFi and this can, in a lot of cases lead to increased spending. Once installed, don’t forget to promote it - it’s a positive selling point for your business.
- Attract (and Keep) customers
There is no doubt that Port Macquarie and surrounding villages are continuing to attract more and more visitors and with the ever increasing student population there is ample opportunity to attract these groups to your premises by offering free WiFi. Certainly for overseas visitors and students, free WiFi is a common expectation and research has found that 1 in 10 people admitted to leaving a venue because there was no free WiFi access.
- Differentiates your business from competitors
Price and quality are no longer the only means of differentiating your business from your competitors. Often people are selecting venues based on the availability of certain services, WiFi being one. Providing free WiFi when your competitors don't can be a strong competitive advantage.
- Promotes repeat visitation
Customers love the idea of getting something for free. So offering up free WiFi could be a deciding factor in the customer’s decision in choosing you over the competition. By providing a value-add service and convenience to customers, good will is created and repeat business likely generated.
- Added revenue and customer data
A captive portal page that requires guests to sign in before using your free WiFi service provides additional opportunities to speak directly to customers via email marketing, advertising, promotions, or special offers. Data collected allows you to track your customers, allowing you to see how frequently people visit and how long they stay.
What do I need to do to install Free WiFi in my business?
The first thing you need to do is contact your telecommunications provider and set up a consultation.
Here are some things to keep in mind when talking to your provider about a possible solution:
- Work with the consultant to determine the best data plan available for you and your customers needs and determine if you are eligible for any special offers or a bundle plan.
- Make sure that your business data is kept away from the public network. You need to ensure your private data remains private!
- Consider what sort of restrictions you put on the service you provide your customers. Do you set limits on download speed or the amount of data customers can consume per day? Do you set time restrictions? Do you need to block certain websites?
- Consider a portal or login page before customers can access your service. You can set terms and conditions (including any restrictions on using the service), collect customer data and potentially serve advertising to the page.
- Lastly, ask what reporting will be available to you and how to access any customer data for follow-up marketing activities.
When you are up and running, please let Council’s Economic Development team know on (02) 6581 8111. We would be happy to promote it on our FREE WiFi Hotspots In Greater Port Macquarie web page and through our Visitor Information Center
This page was last updated on: 27 March 2017
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