What is CBRfree?
CBRfree is Canberra’s public Wi-Fi network, and one of the largest deployments of free, public Wi-Fi in Australia. It forms part of the ACT Government's commitment to Canberra's future as a smart and connected digital city.
CBRfree provides users with access up to 1 gigabyte per day over a fast broadband connection at specific locations.
As at July 2020 there were 334 Wireless Access Points (WAPs) installed across Canberra, including 248 outdoor WAPs. CBRfree is the only major deployment in Australia of free, public Wi-Fi outside of a Central Business District.
CBRfree is an important internet source for many Canberrans and visitors who don't have access to a reliable fast broadband connection. CBRfree is popular with Canberrans and visitors, attracting around 20,000 individual users per month.
Canberra's public schools are leading users of digital technologies with all students using a digital backpack to access timetables, assignments, textbooks and collaborative workspaces. By providing internet access in many locations out of school grounds, CBRfree complements the schools' investment in digital technologies.
The CBRfree Wi-Fi network is also capable of supporting a range of smart city initiatives which benefit the ACT community, including smart parking and CCTV.
Where is CBRfree located?
CBRfree public Wi-Fi is currently available around the town centres of Belconnen, Gungahlin, Tuggeranong, Civic and Woden, as well as a group shopping centres at Dickson, Cooleman Court and Manuka and community locations including the Canberra Theatre, Belconnen Arts Centre, EPIC, Botanical Gardens, Kingston Foreshore, Havelock House, Tuggeranong Basketball Stadium and Stromlo Forest Park.
In August 2020, it was announced the network will be extended to further parts around the Gungahlin Town Centre, as well as around the group centres of Amaroo, Calwell, Chisholm, Erindale, Hawker, Jamison, Kaleen, Kambah, Kingston, Kippax, Lanyon, Mawson and Wanniassa. Belconnen Basketball Centre will also be covered.
To see where CBRfree is currently available please see our map of live CBRfree access points.
View this map by itself? click here
The CBRfree Wi-Fi network has been built in partnership with iiNet, and is one of Australia's largest free outdoor public Wi-Fi networks.
iiNet won the ACT Government’s Wi-Fi Services Agreement tender in 2014. The Wi-Fi Services Agreement will run for five years following the completion of final additional build at the end of June 2021.
It is easy to connect to CBRfree. When you are in range, CBRfree Wi-Fi will appear on the list of Wi-Fi Networks under settings on your device. Simply accept the terms and conditions to connect to the network.
Businesses and community centres interested in having CBRfree installed should contact iiNet. Installation is dependent on suitable, powered locations to mount the Wi‑Fi antennas and proximity to iiNet broadband infrastructure.
CBRfree data handling and security
The only data collected through the network is how many users connect and where, along with very basic level application monitoring to find out how much of our overall traffic is HTTP, Facebook, Audio etc. No tracking is performed, we do not track where customers navigate to online, either on mass or individually. iiNet also anonymises all data and does not record or use user MAC Addresses.
Only data pertaining to user counts and general usage is held and passed on to the ACT Government. Data pertaining to user counts is recorded via weekly and monthly reporting. In terms of how data is collected, iiNet has a reporting service that records how many users are connected to each access point at regular intervals, and its management software keeps basic track of how much data (in megabytes) matches a particular protocol – be it normal Web Traffic, Video Streaming or Audio Streaming etc.
iiNet records how many users are connected to a particular Access Point at time intervals to gauge network effectiveness and very basic protocol monitoring to understand how our users use the network. iiNet is a Telecommunications Provider, and it operates in a strict regulatory environment when it comes to gathering and sharing user data. Unlike some "free" networks that require a username (usually an email address) and a password which are commonly on sold content – CBRfree does not require this, ensuring it is truly free.
No, individualised data is not collected, and where the possibility exists for personalised data to be captured, it is either disregarded, anonymised or deleted. iiNet does not record data from users of CBRfree, its only counts the number of collected clients and basic level protocol monitoring to gauge how users utilise the network.
We do have ability to record analytics which detects beacons from both connected and unconnected devices, which again is ONLY used for counting clients and recording migration from one area to another, but data is completely anonymised, and no personalised tracking or monitoring is available. MAC Addresses are used to record acceptance of the Splash Page, which allows iiNet to increase the time between how often the Splash Page presents. The MAC Addresses are stored within an encrypted database that is not used for anything other than recording acceptance of the Splash Page, meaning you only need to accept weekly, and the enforcement of quota limits.
Privacy is protected through the total anonymisation of data. iiNet is a Telecommunications Provider, the privacy and security of CBRfree users is treated the same as other iiNet customers.
There is no commercial aspect or handover of information with CBRfree outside of reporting on numbers of users.
CBRfree is used solely for the delivery of free public Wi-Fi, but the infrastructure that it resides on, our Access Points, are capable of supplying multiple networks and purposes, for example the provision of a network to support Smart Parking in Manuka.
The CBRfree network infrastructure is also used to support CCTV cameras around the city. The camera data will not be transmitted over Wi-Fi but will share the power and optic fibre infrastructure of CBRfree.