Free WiFi in the City of Sydney

Decision Maker: Council

Decision status: Recommendations Determined

Decisions:

Moved by Councillor Chung, seconded by Councillor Kok –

It is resolved that:

(A)        Council note:

(i)          WiFi and the flexible access it enables to the internet has become an integral part of the way people conduct business, connect with each other and stay informed;

(ii)         major cities around the world such as Hong Kong, New York, Moscow and Tel Aviv offer free WiFi for visitors, residents and businesses to use;

(iii)        Inner West, Waverley and Woollahra councils have all introduced free WiFi in key precincts; and

(iv)       the City of Sydney has not yet implemented free WiFi across the CBD despite commitments in the past to do so; and

(B)        the Chief Executive Officer be requested to immediately implement a plan to install free WiFi in the City of Sydney.

Variation. At the request of Councillor Kok, and by consent, the motion was varied such that it read as follows –

It is resolved that:

(A)        Council note:

(i)          WiFi and the flexible access it enables to the internet has become an integral part of the way people conduct business, connect with each other and stay informed;

(ii)         major cities around the world such as Hong Kong, New York, Moscow and Tel Aviv offer free WiFi for visitors, residents and businesses to use;

(iii)        Inner West, Waverley and Woollahra councils have all introduced free WiFi in key precincts;

(iv)       the City of Sydney has not yet implemented free WiFi across the CBD despite commitments in the past to do so; and

(v)         Councillors were informed via CEO Update of 11 December 2020 that:

(a)        the City recommenced negotiations for the supply of free public WiFi within the Local Government Area in mid-2020;

(b)        this follows a decision to consider provision of WiFi services after finalising the Street Furniture and Out-Of-Home Media services contract;

(c)         the street furniture, Out-of-Home Media contract was awarded in June 2020;

(d)        the City is currently in negotiations with two shortlisted companies for the supply of free public WiFi within the Local Government Area;

(e)        since mid-2020 the City has held further meetings and received updated information on previous proposals from both companies;

(f)          a Best and Final Offer is expected to take place in early 2021; and

(g)        the outcome of the negotiations is expected to be submitted in mid-2021 for Council’s consideration after final assessment of the offers and negotiations are concluded.

Variation. At the request of Councillor Scully, and by consent, clause (A)(iv) was varied such that it read as follows:

(iv)       the City of Sydney is in the process of negotiating free WiFi across the CBD;

The motion, as varied by consent, was carried unanimously.

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Point of Order

During discussion of this item, Councillor Scully raised a point of order, stating that Councillor Chung had made personal reflections that impugned the motives of Councillors.

The Chair (the Lord Mayor) upheld the point of order.

Report author: Erin Cashman

Publication date: 14/12/2020

Date of decision: 14/12/2020

Decided at meeting: 14/12/2020 - Council

Accompanying Documents: