City Of Yarra – Public Free Park Wi-Fi

5 minutes read

Yarra City Council endorsed a concept to provide a new kind of park for the residences of North West Richmond in Victoria.  This new park was to be fitted with the latest trends for inner-city parks.  All they needed to complete their vision was Free Public Wi-Fi.

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The City of Yarra

The City of Yarra is an inner metropolitan municipality which is home to a diverse community of about 80,600 people.  Yarra’s 19.5 square kilometres include the suburbs of Abbotsford, Burnley, Clifton Hill, Collingwood, Cremorne, Fitzroy, North Carlton, North Fitzroy, Princes Hill, Richmond, and also includes parts of Alphington and Fairfield.

Today, Yarra boasts more than 230 hectares of open space. It is renowned for large historical gardens particularly Edinburgh Gardens in North Fitzroy and Darling Gardens in Clifton Hill. The Merri Creek and Yarra River, which form two of Yarra’s boundaries, have adjoining linear open space reserves which are highly valued by residents of Yarra and wider metropolitan Melbourne for their recreational and nature conservation values.

For their newest inner-city park, they wanted to provide a public Wi-Fi solution – so they called Wireless Edge Networks.

Customer Requirement

Yarra City Council endorsed a concept to provide a new kind of park for the residences of North West Richmond in Victoria.  This new park was to include polished white concrete tables embossed with chess boards, matching bench seats, clusters of laser-cut steel ‘parasols’ that provide shade over the tables during the day and soft lighting at night.  Green areas were to include raised garden beds and large open lawn areas.  All they needed to complete their vision was Free Public Wi-Fi.

The availability of Public Wi-Fi was one of the ingredients used to attract guests and residents to the park, stay for the afternoon or encourage evening barbeques and gatherings.  The park was designed to be used, and the addition of Wi-Fi as a critical requirement was recognition that for people need to remain connected in order to relax.

Apart of providing free public Wi-Fi, City of Yarra wanted to ensure appropriate usage by way of content filtering and bandwidth thresholds.  They need to ensure the solution was fit for purpose and capable of remaining a permanent outdoor feature in all weather conditions year round.  And ultimately, they did not want to have the City of Yarra IT department spend lots of time in the support and management of this provided solution.

• Outdoor Wi-Fi solution capable of handling year-round Victorian weather;

• Content Filtering for the use of government provided public Wi-Fi access;

• Customized splash page with Yarra City Council’s Terms & Conditions of use;

• Bandwidth limiting capability to set bandwidth thresholds per session;

• 4G Internet access solution;

• Simple to manage without costly IT support overheads.

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Wireless Edge Networks Solution

We worked together with the City of Yarra to design and provide a full and robust solution, which included;

• A Wi-Fi solution based on Cisco Meraki MR62 Ruggedized High Capacity Outdoor Wireless Access Points;

• Customized splash page for the City of Yarra, incorporating their unique Terms & Conditions;

• Ability to manage content and provide content filtering;

• Bandwidth limiting capability to set threshold for upload & download limits;

• LTE 4G Router integrated and installed in outdoor ruggedized enclosure.

The City of Yarra is able identify the use of their provided public Wi-Fi and apply control over hundreds of applications, from BitTorrent to YouTube.  With an intuitive dashboard for their Wi-Fi solution, they gain insights into park visitors with location-based performance indicators, including total number of visitors, repeat visit rate, and median visit length, which they can slice by day, week, or month, or for a user-specified date range.

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