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Public WiFi case study - Port Macquarie Regional Library

The following case study was compiled following an interview with Port Macquarie Branch Library.

Port Macquarie Branch Library has authorised the use of this content on this website and it should not be re-used without the permission of Port Macquarie Branch Library.

This case study is provided to demonstrate the experience of local businesses in the digital space.


Business name:

Port Macquarie Branch Library

When was free WiFi launched for your business?

Free Wifi was implemented in the Port Macquarie, Wauchope and Laurieton branch libraries in 2010

What are the restrictions to the service? Download limits etc

Port Macquarie Branch Library has access to free WiFi 24 / 7 however there are download speed limits (restricted to 3mbps) and a daily data download limit of 1gb. There are no restrictions on the content that can be accessed other than what can be consumed in the daily download limit.

Wauchope and Laurieton have access to Free Wifi within business hours and Wauchope has recently introduced a ticketing system for 2 hours of use and a 200mb data download limit.

What has the usage take-up been like since launch? Do you have any stats over time (e.g. # of times the service is accessed per month, # of users per month, average session duration, data usage per month)?

Port library provides public access to 16 PC’s which are free for members. Laurieton and Wauchope have 6 each.

High take up of technical facilities at the library by students and older generation member often approach the library staff with technical problems.

Are there any events or peak periods of the year that drive additional usage of the free WiFi service?

Access of the service is pretty constant across the year. The WiFi facility is consistently busy, especially during Library business hours but the current infrastructure supports the load.

The number of students using the WiFi and other technical facilities is high during the University season as SCU is situated across the road

Do you find that there are any incidences of abuse for the service? And if so what sort of incidences do you experience?

Before download limits were introduced there were a number of users who come into use the libraries free WiFi service to download large files (video streaming, Operating System updates).

Wauchope did experience loud antisocial behaviour by groups hanging out within the library grounds after hours. This was addressed by locking down the WiFi access to business hours and introducing a ticketing system.

There was also a period where Backpackers were over-nighting in the public parking nearby to use the free Wifi and other facilities but this was mitigated by council turning off water access overnight.

Which carrier provides this service for you and what technology is used? Has the service been reliable?

The service is provided by a reseller of Telstra with WiFi access points sitting on the network. ADSL2+ is used in Wauchope and Laurieton which also have Wi-Fi access points. Port library also has 20/20 MB of Council's 50/50 MB connection

Are there costs to the business involved in running this service?

The costs of the service are partially subsidised by State Government and other costs are covered by the Libraries budgets. Maintenance contracts are also in place.

What was the impact of this implementation on the business? e.g. visitors, usage of the space, vibrancy

There has been a gradual increase of customers coming through the doors to use the WiFi facilities as opposed to using other library services.

Other comments...

There are continuing issues with speed of the service but no real feedback from customers around this.

This page was last updated on: 04 August 2016