Wi-Fi Hotspot services provider, Tomizone, today inked a partnership deal with Australia's third largest Internet Service Provider (ISP), iiNet Limited.
Under the agreement, iiNet customers get access to the Tomizone Wi-Fi solution plus 100 megabytes of monthly Wi-Fi access to Tomizone Hotspots anywhere around the world.
iiNet broadband customers will be able to set up their own Wi-Fi Hotspot by connecting a Tomizone-enabled Wi-Fi device to their broadband connection.
The Hotspot owner can then generate income from other users who pay a very low fee to access the Internet.
Half of any usage revenue earned will be distributed to the iiNet customers who operate a Tomizone.
This is very similar to the agreement signed earlier this year with New Zealand ISP, Orcon.
Tomizone CEO, Steve Simms, said Wi-Fi Hotspot ubiquity is a problem globally.
To address this shortcoming, Simms said local customers can contribute to the growth of what could be over time, the largest Wi-Fi network in Australia.
TheTomizone solution has free hotspot-enabling firmware embedded in selected Wi-Fi routers.
When Tomizone is activated on the Wi-Fi router, the service authenticates customers' access, regulates usage, and collects payments.
It distributes 50 percent revenue share to the Hotspot owner.
iiNet CTO, Grag Bader, said its one way of extending a broadband connection.
When travelling, he said customers will simply "login" with their iiNet credentials and away they go.
"We will also be working with Tomizone to deploy our own hotspots in major population areas, which also gives small business operators a simple solution for providing Wi-Fi access to customers," Bader said.
"We look forward to a time where our customers can use Wi-Fi wherever they need it, the rollout is somewhat self fulfilling -- the more people use it, the more it will expand. Our initial targets will be the capital cities but there is no reason why this cannot extend to non-metro areas."
iiNet customers will be given a free data allocation of 100Mb per month which can be topped up.
"We have already started work on integrating the systems, we hope to have our first Hotspots operational in November," Bader added.
"Up until now the growth of new Hotspots has been the domain of the big telcos whose roll-out is governed by their tight budgets and costly access plans."
According to JiWire, a Wi-Fi hotspot locator service, there are around 1,900 public access hotspots in Australia which is at odds with Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures which show there are currently more than 4.3 million broadband connections across the country.