Quake shows the value of the cbdfree Wi-Fi network

20 Aug 2013

Friday’s 2:30pm 6.6 earthquake near Seddon not only gave Wellington city and the surrounding region a good shake, it also gave CityLink’s cbdfree Wi-Fi network a good working over, with traffic volumes in parts of the city up by over 50%.

CityLink’s CEO Nick Willis said the quake was a good test for the company’s technology on a number of levels.

“Firstly and most importantly nothing broke. All of our cabling and supporting infrastructure survived well and was able to keep delivering connectivity to our business and other clients around town,” Nick Willis said.

“Secondly, the cbdfree Wi-Fi network was able to cope with a significant increase in usage.

“While Wi-Fi traffic in the Lambton Quay and Willis Street areas was less than on normal Fridays, traffic in Courtenay Place, Cuba Street, Thorndon and the waterfront was up significantly – in some cases by more than 50%. This gives an indication of where people evacuated from office buildings migrated.

“CityLink doesn’t capture information about which sites cbdfree users visit but conversations our staff have had, and things we did ourselves after the quake give us some strong clues,” he said.

“Social networks are widely used by people who want to keep in touch with family and friends. They’re becoming a popular alternative to cellular network calls and texts. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and text apps like WhatsApp are widely used for these purposes. Smart devices also provide effective ways for people to gather all sorts of useful information and I’m certain that the Geonet site saw a lot of traffic on Friday afternoon, as would have other sites like Metlink for public transport users and news sites like Stuff.

“Our cbdfree network acted like an essential service – Friday afternoon’s experience showed us that it’s widely used and highly valued by smart-device users who want to let people know they’re OK and find out what’s happening,” Nick Willis said.

For further information please contact

Nick Willis, CEO,

CityLink Limited