Any good places for free internet in Sydney?

One of my business partners is in Sydney right now, and we’re trying to stay in touch by Skype. He’s having trouble finding free internet hot spots, though, which I thought was kind of surprising. They’re pretty easy to find in the US-- most coffee shops and such in my area have a free wireless LAN. He’s staying in hotel in The Rocks, so if there’s anything good in that area, I’d appreciate letting me know.

Thanks.

Has he checked his hotel?

This popped up after a quick search for free internet access:

Perhaps he could try there? It should be reasonably close.

Or he could just pay. Internet access generally costs about $5 an hour.

There’s a library at the Customs House which isn’t far from The Rocks. I think they have free wi-fi, but I don’t know if they’d appreciate you using Skype. Oh, and not that I’d ever suggest such a thing, but The Rocks is a very condensed area where I imagine you could find many unsecure networks.

I can’t help with the specific question, but given my own experience I’m not surprised that he’s having a problem. When I was in Sydney last summer I found public wireless internet access to be significantly rarer and more expensive than it was here in the States.

I believe many McDonald’s outlets have them.

I’ve never used hotspots, but if regular, private internet connections (wireless or otherwise) are any guide, don’t expect US prices or speed.

I believe the McDs hotspots are provided by Telstra and are only free to certain Telstra customers (iPhone users get free Telstra hotspot access but users of other smartphones don’t for example.)

Free wireless doesn’t seem to be that common here.

Because all international traffic has to go through underwater pipes, bandwidth is significantly more expensive in Australia and the economics just don’t work out for free Internet

I just came back from an Australian holiday at the weekend, we spent some time looking for good internet spots in Sydney. The best we found, by far, was an internet cafe on Liverpool St and (I think) Castlereagh St. 1 or 2 blocks from Hyde Park. It had plenty of terminals, cost $2 per hour, and there was wireless plus power points for your laptop. It was nice and clean and there was a good wee coffee shop.

It wasn’t that fast a connection, but it was OK. Remote desktop access wasn’t really functional, but direct internet stuff was spot on.