Smart benches

What is a smart bench?

A smart bench allows users to access the internet while charging a device. The bench is fitted with a sim card, USB port and wireless charging panel. Users are able to connect to the Wi-Fi internet from within 20 metres of the bench, and charge a device by plugging it into the USB port or placing it on top of the charging panel.

About the trial

From February 2022 and April 2023, we installed smart benches in two public locations to test the need for free public internet access. 

The benches were installed at:

  • Horace Petty Estate
  • Princes Gardens

These locations were identified as areas where residents had limited access to the internet.

During the 12-month period, on average:

  • 20 users at Horace Petty Estate and 39 users at Princes Gardens charged a mobile phone every month
  • 20 users at Horace Petty Estate and 31 users at Princes Gardens connected to the internet every month.

How do smart benches benefit our community?

Free Wi-Fi increases accessibility to online services and provides greater connectivity to all members of the community.

Digital inclusion is a key part of our Smart City Strategic Framework and our work towards ensuring residents, business owners and visitors feel comfortable using and accessing the internet.

This trial allowed us to test the need for free internet access in public places and will help to inform future initiatives across the City.

Where else can I find free Wi-Fi?

Find out where you can access free Wi-Fi in the City of Stonnington. 

If you, or a community group you know, has a need for public Wi-Fi or access to a mobile charging facility in a particular area, call 03 8290 1333 or email