THE City of Vancouver, in partnership with Shaw Communications Inc., has expanded free public Wi-Fi throughout the city, making #VanWiFi one of the largest free public-Wi-Fi networks in North America.
“Shaw’s expansion of #VanWiFi is a huge win for our residents and businesses, covering more than 500 locations in the downtown core and surrounding areas” said Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson on Friday. “People are more digitally connected than ever and good public Wi-Fi access enables locals and visitors to more easily connect and interact online and supports Vancouver’s tourism and economic success. This massive digital infrastructure expansion also bolsters Vancouver’s status as a leading Smart City.”
In total, those who live, work or visit Vancouver will have access to free public Wi-Fi at over 600 locations throughout the city.
In 2014, the City implemented a procurement process to solicit applications from telecommunications service providers to provide free public Wi-Fi at no cost to the City. Shaw was one of the vendors selected as ‘Pre-Qualified’ to supply free public internet at identified, and future, locations in Vancouver.
After 42 locations were equipped with #VanWiFi in 2015, Shaw was chosen for the second phase in 2016 to provide VanWiFi at 15 locations, including all nine City-owned social housing sites and six outdoor sites, expanding the existing #VanWiFi network at no cost to the City.
“Like our partners at the City of Vancouver, we understand how important it is to have access to a broadly available Wi-Fi network in the places we frequent the most,” said Jim Little, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing and Culture Officer, Shaw Communications. “This vast expansion of the #VanWiFi public network will give residents and visitors to Vancouver easy connectivity in the busiest locations across the city, whenever they want and need it for free.”
Speaking about the expansion, City of Vancouver’s Chief Technology Officer, Jessie Adcock said: “We are pleased to be working with Shaw to provide one of North America’s largest free public Wi-Fi networks, the latest step in our work to create a connected city. Connectivity such as this provides greater opportunities to all of Vancouver’s residents, innovators, businesses and visitors.”
Approximately 550 free public Wi-Fi locations are currently active, with the remaining locations becoming active over the coming months. All locations can be viewed by visiting vancouver.ca/wifi
Free public Wi-Fi is also available at all Vancouver Public Library locations, 27 community centres, four outdoor pools, four civic facilities, three public golf courses, three theatres, two marinas and the City Hall campus.
“This is an exciting development for the visitor experience in Vancouver” said Ted Lee, Tourism Vancouver’s CFO and Commercial Director. “Free Wi-Fi service in key locations will enable visitors to use their smart phones and devices to discover attractions, activities and restaurants, for wayfinding, and to navigate Vancouver’s transportation options.
“It will also better enable visitors to use social media on a real-time basis to share their Vancouver experiences with the world. Furthermore, this is an important development for the Vancouver tourism industry as it moves us closer to our goal of being a ‘smart’ tourism destination.”