FISH Creek’s keenly-awaited public WiFi hub, that was intended to be “all up by Christmas”, is coming soon after a series of unexpected glitches has been overcome.
Bad weather, illness, and the late realisation that planning permission was needed have combined to delay the launch of the town’s central business district-wide free WiFi service.
The Fish Creek Tea Cosy Festival Committee president Marge Arnup said, “2020 certainly has proved to be a year where whatever you plan goes awry.
“After starting the Fish Creek WiFi project in August with every intention to be operational for Christmas, the committee has faced several hurdles in getting the necessary equipment installed to provide public WiFi,” she said.
“We’ve been so excited by the support we’ve has for this important local project from Morwell-based Aussie Broadband that will provide free data, and from the South Gippsland Shire Council which gave us $1000 towards the cost of the equipment.
“We also really appreciate the kindness of the Fish Creek Memorial Hall Committee, The Fish Creek Country Fire Authority Brigade and the Fish Creek Hotel who all agreed to host the hub’s three WiFi transmitters,” Marge said.
“The committee members thought we had all problems solved by October last year, however, a Heritage Overlay permit was required before we could have the National Broadband Network antenna installed at the Hall.
“With the help of South Gippsland Shire planning staff, we were able to get a permit issued quickly,” she said.
“Then, the weather was not as co-operative, and it took more than a month, and four different NBN appointments, before it was fine enough for the job to be done.
“The local WiFi network was booked in for installation 10 days prior to Christmas, but the technician became ill and had to cancel.
“Fish Creek’s The Press Gallery Printers’ the late Gavin Westaway had produced some signs to promote public WiFi availability and the Shire had put notices on the Great Southern Rail Trail, too, in anticipation of the service,” Marge said.
“The Fish Creek Tea Cosy Festival Committee want to reassure the local community and the many people who visit Fish Creek that public WiFi is coming; just as soon as the technician is able to do the job,” she said.
“The Tea Cosy Festival Committee apologises for the delay and we look forward to the day when we can announce that public WiFi is finally available in Fish Creek!”