In 2012, Calgary Transit had 102 million riders on their system. Thanks to a deal with Shaw, they’ll now enjoy free Wi-FI. (Photo by Dean Jarvey). It’s a deal that most people would probably consider a win-win.
In exchange for advertising, Shaw (TSX:SJR.B) will provide free Wi-Fi to Calgary parks, arenas and LRT stations. The deal, which was struck last December after Shaw submitted an RFP the previous March, will launch today.
“Free public Wi-Fi is not just about technology,” said Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi. “It’s about giving Calgarians greater access to City services and the world. I’m thrilled that Shaw will join with us as we fulfill Council’s goal to create a highly-connected community.”
The deal is similar to the one Shaw announced last week with the City of Penticton, in which residents there will be able to access free internet on much of Main and Front streets, as well as Okanagan Lake Park.
While most in Calgary and Penticton will no doubt welcome the service, the cities have a long way to go in terms of connectivity in global terms. In February, Osaka became the first city in Japan to offer free city-wide Wi-Fi.