It may have taken 10 years, but Toronto is now closer to offering free reliable, public Wi-Fi.
Toronto's Economic Development Committee last Friday voted unanimously to support Coun. Josh Matlow’s motion to add Wi-Fi hotspots to the city’s parks, squares, plazas, Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC) buildings and privately-owned public spaces (POPS), Toronto Metro reports.
In 2006, the city attempted to create a free Wi-Fi service called One Zone with the now-defunct Toronto Hydro Telecom.
"Providing free public Wi-Fi in our parks and public spaces will signal to technology developers that Toronto is a tech-savvy jurisdiction and an excellent place to settle and do business," Matlow told the committee.
"We already have a flourishing high-tech sector that has attracted tech giants like Google, LinkedIn and Apple," Matlow said. "We have an opportunity to become a tech-friendly global centre."
TCHC residents would benefit from the implementation of free public Wi-Fi. Rassel Mohammed and his family live in community housing. Free Wi-Fi could help his family’s income go a little bit further, he told Toronto Metro.
“I’ve got Internet access, but I’m paying a large amount of money for it,” Mohammed said. “We’re not even a middle class family and it can be hard to pay the bills.”
TCHC offers units with rent options for lower-income individuals and families.
“There are so many residents in TCH buildings who don’t have access to high-speed Internet,” Matlow said. “If we can provide the connectivity to employment and education, we could change lives.”
The issue will go before Toronto City Council Sept. 30.
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