The City of Surrey announced a new plan to keep residents and visitors connected to the Internet while they’re in town.
Shaw has been named as a partner to provide the broadband connection at 40 locations across the city, including recreation centres, parks and civic buildings.
The 10-year non-exclusive agreement means the city will allow public access to Wi-Fi via Shaw Go WiFi, which includes a guest tab for those who aren’t Shaw customers.
This project is an extension of city council’s Smart Surrey Strategy, which intends to connect residents with city services via their mobile devices.
Geoff Samson, manager of Surrey’s information technology division, said the city is "delighted to be able to offer this type of service."
He also mentioned the city offered free Wi-Fi at 18 locations, but this new project will allow for faster download speeds and gives Wi-Fi access to more people.
"This will allow us to significantly expand it. With the city’s geographical space of about 317 kilometres, it’s quite extensive," Samson said. "We’re looking for cost-effective ways to enable citizens and visitors with a Wi-Fi service."
In a release, outgoing mayor Dianne Watts said, "Investing in technology and innovation is essential to building a city that is prepared for the challenges of the future.
"Free, reliable and easily accessible City Wide Wi-Fi access is integral to the development of our city as it allows our residents to be socially engaged and well connected," she added.
Councillor Bruce Hayne, who leads the Investment and Innovation Committee, said it is important for the city to "encourage social engagement and connectivity."
"The technological advancement and innovation this free Wi-Fi initiative brings will help in the transformation of our city at all levels," Hayne said in the release.
The public can expect to connect online for free at the Cloverdale Fairgrounds, Fraser Heights Recreation Centre, Guildford Library, Guildford Recreation Centre, North Surrey Recreation Centre, South Surrey Recreation Centre and Surrey Arts Centre in the coming months.