Wireless Networking Demonstration
at Parliament Buildings, Wellington
19 February 2002

On 19 February 2002, the First Light Consortium established a demonstration wireless network on the verandah of the General Assembly Library, in the Grounds of Parliament Buildings, Wellington. The purpose of the demonstration was to show Members of Cabinet and Parliament that affordable, low cost telecommunications solutions exist, particularly for rural situations.

This network was based on the 802.11b wireless technology. The base station was a ruggedised Apple Airport. This was located on the roof of the High Court building and connected to a 100mbps port on the CityLink, fiber optic based network linking most Wellington buildings. The demonstration used 5 PCs (2 are in the video). These demonstrated

The First Light Consortium is made of Wellington based ICT and Creative businesses who have been working together with the Government to open up “Digital Trade Routes” for New Zealand. For these Digital Trade Routes to be successful it is vital that all New Zealanders have access to the benefits that genuine high speed access to the internet can deliver. The Consortium believes that Wellington has benefited from the unique Public and Private sector vision that has produced among other benefits the city’s high speed fibre optic network CityLink.

Information:   Chris O’Connell          027 442 3315  chris.oconnell@ensignz.com
                            Neil de Wit                021 429 121     neil.de.wit@citylink.co.nz
                            Selwyn Feary            021 820 088     selwyn.feary@ensignz.com
                            Chris Lipscome        025 732 912     chris.lipscombe@ensignz.com

The demonstration network was implemented in approximately one hour and was powered for over 3 hours using car batteries and an inverter. On the hay bales are the two laptops used in the demonstration. They had additional aerials to strengthen the signal. The other laptops were for MPs to use to try out the service, but they did not have time. The 5th laptop was connected to the video camera that made this video. It was streamed live across the wireless network to the Internet and back to second "demo" laptop. Thus viewers were able to see what was being filmed.

Other views from the demonstration follow, with the movie below.
The hay bale "demo" table with the two laptops used for the demonstration and a microphone. The rear laptop has an extra omni-directional aerial to give extra gain, needed due to the crowd around the "table".
Part of the CityLink Engineering Team involved in the demonstration
from left
Carl Penwarden
Jonny Martin
Steve Dickinson
Michael Bradford
Michael Hailes
funny how over half of them turned up when the set up was completed..........
Minister Paul Swain, talking on an IP based telephone to a cell phone located nearby. The PC client was netmeeting, using the CityLink Cisco based call-manager. Calls were also made from the cell phone to the PC which had a fully routed PSTN telephone number.
A close up of the demo laptop showing the video stream running from the camera attached to another laptop. Both laptops connected via wireless to the base station and the Internet.
The ruggedised Apple Airport that was acting as the base station. This was located on a tripod on the roof of the High Court building, which explains the liberal use of gaffa tape in the "sophisticated" mounting technique. An external omni-directional aerial is above the weather proof box.
On the left. a production wireless router used by CityLink in extending its network to the Hutt Valley and Johnsonville. This is a Linux based router in a weatherproof enclosure. Above it are two locally made solid parabolic aerials. The link range is approximately 12 km. 

On the right is a high gain aerial used by another wireless operator for local distribution.

A view of the two batteries and inverter that powered the whole demonstration. Typically two batteries will power a wireless base station for between 5 and 8 days depending on charge depth. Recharging is by solar panel.

Click here to watch the movie.  This movie is viewable in Windows Media PlayerApple Quicktime or Real Player.

The movie files are available in different formats and different connection speeds. You may click on the movie on line, or use cut and paste to paste the URL into Media Player, Apple Quicktime or Real Player.

The different versions and formats of this movie are,
File Location
File Size (MBytes)
Suitable for broadband connections (eg CityLink,  Jetstream)
Suitable for broadband connections (eg CityLink,  Jetstream)
Suitable for broadband connections (eg CityLink,  Jetstream)
Suitable for broadband connections (eg Jetstart)
Suitable for broadband connections (eg Jetstart)
Suitable for dial-up connections

If you are pasting the locations into your media viewer, the full address is


for the MPEG.

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