The term is “Muni Wifi” or Munifi . I know it’s popular right now in the campaign to point out the failure and corruption; the lies, the bullying, hiding of mail, boycotting local businesses, and abuse of the municipal act by our current mayor and council; but I think it’s also important during the next six weeks to look at ways of improving our city.
Municipal Wifi is a creation of Internet hot spots; essentially giving people free access to the internet. It’s not meant to replace accounts that people have like I do with Start.ca that provides me speedy internet at blazing speeds.
It’s not about people downloading movies and games; but giving visitors and residents access to the net to do some of their basics; even if only for short portions.
Can you imagine our public library here in Cornwall if free internet access wasn’t offered? Between that and free dvd rentals hardly anyone would show up. (that’s for a whole other entry on why I think the best spot for an Arts Centre, if we ever get one, would be converting our current city library; especially as the Counties have one around the corner from the city’s)
We need to up the ante and compete with other communities. We also need to breathe some life into the downtown core. I know one of the reasons I eat at places like Spinners or the Grind is internet access; imagine if we had it in Lamoureux Park in the Summer? Or City Hall during council meetings!
But you say; Jamie, you’re crazy! Where would we get the money for that; especially when we want to cut taxes? Well that’s where some sponsorship comes in and maybe a teaming up with the Chamber of Commerce or Dbia (not stop smirking you nasty viewers!)
Here is a list of some Canadian cities that offer Munifi from Wikipedia:
- Calgary, Alberta – paid service operated by WestNet Wireless, first City Wi-Fi in Canada
- Cambridge, Ontario – paid service provided by Atria Networks for various locations throughout Waterloo Region, free at Central Public Library.
- Fredericton, New Brunswick – free, Fred-e Zone
- Iqaluit, Nunavut – Community Free Access and Paid Service provided by Meshnet, and service of mnemonics.ca
- Kitchener, Ontario – paid service provided by Atria Networks for locations throughout Waterloo Region, free at Kitchener Public Library branches.
- London, Ontario – free (pilot project) on Dundas Street, provided by London Downtown Business Association
- Mississauga, Ontario – free, Wireless access at Mississauga Libraries, Community Centres and Arenas
- Moncton, New Brunswick – free, Service provided by Red Ball Internet of Moncton. Wireless access available at Arenas and Moncton’s Public Library. It was also the first city in Canada to provide wireless internet on its public transportation fleet.
- Montreal, Quebec – free, community supported Ilesansfil
- Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan – free, city center and campus
- Prince Albert, Saskatchewan – free, city center and campus
- Quebec, Quebec – free, community supported ZAP Quebec
- Regina, Saskatchewan – free, city center and campus
- Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec – free service in selected parks, municipal buildings and commercial center, provided by ZAP Monteregie
- Saskatoon, Saskatchewan – free, city center and campus
- Sherbrooke, Québec – free, limited to downtown, provided by ZAP Sherbrooke
- Shawinigan, Quebec – free service, limited to downtown. City-operated.
- Stratford, Ontario – paid service, covers entire city.
- Toronto, Ontario – free service provided by Wireless Toronto and the Toronto Public Library system for locations throughout the Greater Toronto Area; paid service from Toronto Hydro‘s One Zone.
- Waterloo, Ontario – paid service provided by Atria Networks for locations throughout Waterloo Region, free at Waterloo Public Library branches.
Many of those cities do really well in the CFIB Communities in Boom polls and Moneysense studies. It’s progressive and it’s something that can really up the ante for Cornwall.
2. Visitors want to share everything online. They post photos and videos to Instagram, they Facebook their friends, they check in and brag about their adventures, maybe they even blog or tweet. That’s the new kind of word-of-mouth, it’s advertising, and you want it.
3. More devices use wifi than ever before. Look around the next time you’re out. How many iPads do you see? Add in the smart phones, laptops, netbooks, other tablets, and all the other devices I don’t even know about. That’s lots of reasons to offer wifi.
We are rebuilding Cornwall. From our future Waterfront development; to a possible University; to expanding and diversifying our economy.
What do you think Cornwall? Are we ready to talk Municipal Wifi Hot Spots? You can post your comments to me below and please, if you are ready for change in 2014 there is only one candidate to check off on your ballot on October 27, 2014.
First on the list; first for Cornwall!
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