Australia's Telstra has announced it will spend around A$100 million ($93 million) to deploy one of the world's largest Wi-Fi networks.
The operator plans to have around two million Wi-Fi hotspots in operation across the country within five years.
The network, which will go live in early 2015, will also consist of around 12 million international hotspots under a partnership deal with Wi-Fi provider Fon.
Telstra CEO David Thodey said the company plans to offer access to all Australians, irrespective of whether they are a Telstra customer. Non-customers will be charged a fee for access using day passes.
“We want Australia to be a truly connected country and as part of our plan, we are keen to work in partnership with local councils and enterprises to grow our Wi-Fi network in Australia’s largest cities and regional centres,” he said.
Home broadband customers will be given the choice to share a portion of their bandwidth with other Telstra Wi-Fi customers, in exchange for the option to use their home broadband allowance at Telstra hotspots.
Telstra plans to give its government and business customers the chance to offer public Wi-Fi over the network, and also to eventually extend access to its mobile-only customers.