Melbourne’s Spitje Lovers Enjoy Free Wi-Fi

Hungry Bird is a cosy cafe in Melbourne’s Brunswick, and is the first in Australia to connect to the $36 billion national broadband network (NBN). Of the 18,000 premises hooked up to NBN thus far, only a few have chosen to pay for the highest speed package, and Hungry Bird is one of them. Despite the cost, Hungry Bird co-owner Ruth Quirk said that NBN has boosted business, as people buy coffee and hang out on their comfortable  just to test out the network. “For us it has been excellent,” she said. “A lot of locals come to try it out before they get it hooked up at home.” While Ms Quirk has no problems paying $80 per month for the service, not all businesses are happy with the costs. Down the road from Hungry Bird is Distinction Printing, whose manager James Rizzo says his existing ADSL is more than enough to suit his needs. Regarding the NBN, he says, “It’s just too expensive and at the moment we just don’t see the value in spending that much money when costs are going up.”