A Shaw Communications sign at the company’s headquarters in Calgary, Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2015. (Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press)

Vancouver hoping free public Wi-Fi expansion will drive tourism dollars

Mayor Gregor Robertson says expansion bolsters its “leading Smart City” status

The City of Vancouver expects its visitor experience and economic success to get a boost after expanding its number of free public Wi-Fi locations from 80 to 550 through a partnership with Shaw Communications Inc.

Mayor Gregor Robertson says the substantial increase in free Wi-Fi access throughout the city’s downtown core and surrounding areas supports Vancouver’s tourism and economic success, and bolsters its status as “a leading Smart City.”

While about 550 free public Wi-Fi locations are currently active, a spokesman for the city says that number will increase to 600 locations in the coming months.

The impetus for the expansion dates back to 2014, when Vancouver began a process to solicit applications from telecommunications service providers to provide free public Wi-Fi at no cost to the city.

After 42 locations were equipped with free Wi-Fi in 2015, Shaw was chosen for the second phase in 2016 to provide 15 locations and the current third phase.

The Canadian Press

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