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Wifi hotspots

There’s just not enough wifi hotspots in Canberra that are either free or cheap. As a result we’ve got very little that’s available for ‘ordinary people’ (the plebs) to have access to. There’s a huge Westfield Shopping Centre here with a lot of traffic that simply doesn’t have any wifi hotspots!

I know this is standard around Australia, and even New Zealand. However, it’s not something I’m happy about, considering how much I want to use it myself – like right now, when I don’t have any internet at home.

So I’ve come up with an idea. If I can’t use a wifi hotspot, how about setting up my own? Create a business model to satisfy a market that seems to be lacking.

Sure, there are hotspots in the ‘wealthier locations’, like hotels and fancy restaurants. There’s even a hotspot at Starbucks in the CBD. But they’re all incredibly expensive, like $15-$20 per hour. This is a ripoff for the plebs that just want to browse their email or web pages while having a coffee.

So I’ve come to believe that there’s a need for wifi hotspots around Canberra to provide a cheap service that’s currently lacking.

When I moved to New Zealand in 2000, I walked off the plane and literally into a job in an internet cafe in the CBD of Wellington. I met the owner of the cafe an hour after I landed, and I started working there the next day. It wasn’t very long before I moved on to a better job at Computerland (where I remained for 6 years), but I enjoyed the experience and decided that owning an internet cafe was something I could see myself doing.

Right now, however, at this stage of my life, I couldn’t afford to replace my current income with the low income from an internet cafe! So I thought about how I can do it without actually doing it, and continuing my day job.

Setting up wifi hotspots seemed to be the best way of doing it, allowing me to continue my day job and reset routers where necessary after hours.

The advantages of this idea is that there’s no need to buy computers for people to use, or to maintain them, ’cause people will be using their own laptops. There’s no need to pay staff members to run an internet cafe and take people’s money, ’cause it will be automated with authorised logins via credit card payments. There’s no need to work the business ’cause it’ll work itself!

So I’d still have my day job, and a wifi business that’s providing a passive income (money coming in without you actually doing anything).

I went to the free wifi place tonight, and for the second night in a row their wifi was having problems, preventing me from connecting. I think it was going at about 0.0002 kb/s. Resetting their router didn’t fix the problem, so it was obviously a service problem. It was atrocious! At least they gave me my coke for free to compensate…

I whinged to Deidre about it when I got home, and talked about my wifi business plan, and she got all excited and suggested I make the free wifi place my first customer!

“But…. you didn’t want me moving forward on this business plan until we’ve got at least 2 investment properties,” I said, surprised.

“Well, this has got good potential of giving us some extra money with a low upfront cost, and then you can use your own hotspots when you go out.”

She’s a keeper is my Deidre. 😉

So now to move forward on the idea.

But don’t worry, investing in property has NOT been sidelined. We’re going to see a mortgage broker this week to check out our borrowing potential. Once we find out how much we can borrow (which I worked out today via an online calculator to be around $550k), we’ll be moving forward on buying an investment property for about half that amount.

My friend Peter C wants to move into a house with his friends, and he’s talking to them about investing at the same time. So we’ve got a plan, which we’ve been talking about for over a month now: we buy them a house for them to live in, and they buy us a house for us to live in.

Obviously this isn’t going to work for us right now, as we’ve just moved into this one. But there’s nothing stopping us from getting them to buy a property that WE want to live in, and they rent it out until we’re ready to rent it from them ourselves. At the same time, we buy them a property THEY want to live in, which we’ll rent to them.

This allows us to all invest in property and rent each other’s houses, thus guaranteeing a rental income on the properties for an extended period of time, and allowing us all to claim tax benefits from the investments.

I’ll keep ya’s updated as plans progress.

It’s been an amazing 9 months since we arrived here from New Zealand. What we’ve done in that time, and what we’ll be doing over the next year and beyond, is just amazing. We never thought this was possible, but here we are, doing it.

How exciting!

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