Toronto’s Economic Development committee has voted unanimously to have city staff re-visit the idea of offering free Wi-Fi at city parks, civic squares and for interested Business Improvement Areas. Staff will also examine free Wi-Fi for the more 164,000 tenants of Toronto Community Housing.
Toronto currently offers free Wi-Fi at city libraries and is in the process of rolling it out at all TTC stations in 2017.
Councillor Josh Matlow is convinced that a more widespread free Wi-Fi program is possible by forging public-private partnerships.
Matlow says the program would also allow non-TCHC tenants living at or near the poverty line to tap into free Wi-Fi in public spaces.
The councillor sees more readily-available Wi-Fi as a way to help tourists find their way around the city and to spend more money. He argues it would also help build a reputation for Toronto as a “tech-friendly city”.
A few members of the public raised concerns Friday about potential health effects from increased exposure to Wi-Fi.
“We’re not going to avoid any of these things, because we are impacted by it as well,” said councillor Michael Thompson. “None of us want to get cancer or any other ill effects that will come from utilization of technology.”
The city staff report is due back in the spring.
This article can be found in its original form at http://www.newstalk1010.com/news/2015/09/18/city-staff-to-report-on-offering-free-wi-fi-in-city-parks-tchc