Vancouver deploys the biggest free WiFi networks in Canada
The Mayor of Vancouver, Gregor Roberston announced that the city’s free Wi-Fi public will be expanded, making it the largest free Wi-Fi network in Canada.
VanWiFi is a public free Wi-Fi network deployed in 2015, firstly for only 42 locations.
In 2016, Shaw, the leading network company in Canada, has been chosen to expand the VanWiFi over 15 additional locations including outdoor public spaces like Canada Place, Jim Deva Plaza, English Bay, Oppenheimer Park, and Sunset Beaches.
The final objective is to allow residents, tourists, and businesses to enjoy free internet connection over 600 locations in the coming months.
550 free Wi-Fi hotspots are already active. Gregor Roberston declared that “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”.
Indeed, public Wi-Fi is a real plus for local tourism, allowing travellers to enjoy city services and find what they are looking for easily. According to Ted Little, CFO and commercial director with Tourism Vancouver, the expansion of VanWiFi will enable “visitors to […] discover attractions, activities and restaurants, for wayfinding, and to navigate Vancouver’s transportation options”.
Moreover, restaurateurs, bars and cafés owners are enthusiasts cause they know how social media can impact their business. By offering free connectivity, people will be willing to share more content on social media and, by consequence, increase the social visibility of these locations.
If VanWiFi achieves its goal of 600 Wi-Fi hotspots, it will become the third largest free Wi-Fi network in North-America, right behind New-york City and Washington D.C’s networks.
Gregor Robertson wants visitors to share their Vancouver experience with the world and hopes that the city will become a smart tourism destination.