City of Vancouver Ponders Turning Public Parks into Free Wifi Zones

Vancouverites may soon have more choices than Starbucks or Tim Hortons if they want to gobble up gigabytes of free data.

Vancouver park board commissioner Trevor Loke will today introduce a motion calling for free wifi in the city’s public spaces, such as English Bay and Nelson Park.

“A lot of people bring their Kindles to the beach to do some reading. Others are saying there’s no reason I shouldn’t be able to go to a park with my work colleagues for a coffee and be on our phones,” Loke told The Globe and Mail. “There’s also, from a tourist perspective, a lot of people who want to visit parks and spaces and share online the photos they are taking.”

His timeline for bringing wifi to parks is “as soon as we can.”

Quoth The Globe and Mail:

While Mr. Loke hopes to see all the city’s parks and community centres wired for WiFi, he’s advocating a step-by-step plan. “Certainly when you are dealing with technology you have to account for the fact technology doesn’t always roll out the way it’s anticipated. You do a little bit of testing and see how the network works. … You expand a little bit and build from there,” he said. “We think a phased approach is good.”

Loke is confident his motion will be endorsed.