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Sechelt downtown gets free WiFi

Sechelt downtown gets free WiFi

The District of Sechelt will shortly be hosting downtown WiFi with the project launching on Labour Day.

A free internet signal will be provided to downtown Sechelt, the Sechelt Innovations Ltd (SIL)’s quarterly report noted, and that the estimated cost for the service is at $70,000. SIL is Sechlet District’s arm-length corporation which is charged with helping grow business opportunities via championing a variety of strategies and projects.

Proponents say the service will especially help tourists, who want to avoid roaming charges by using the free internet while in Sechelt. But because many people have internet-serviced mobile phones, and some cafes have on-site Wi-Fi services already, the free WiFi might be mainly redundant.

“There’s two ways of looking at this, either we are spending unnecessary money,” a downtown Sechelt restauranteur said, “or, what kind of service can this provide that would make it worthwhile?”

For example, the business owner explained, the BC Ferries WiFi takes users to a homepage which gives info about the ferry’s destination. It’s one more way to showcase the area’s assets and events to inform the visitor’s stay.

At the last District council meeting it was discussed and the minutes reflect a desire from council to see monetary statistics, and where funds are going in terms of products and services in Sechelt.

A District of Sechelt councillor said he would like to see the WiFi service go forward in the best way possible, since it’s been developed by the recently dissolved SIL board and board chair who had championed the project.

“It’s about trying to provide more (downtown internet) access to the community… but it’s maybe more (useful) to the tourist than the local,” District councillor Tom Lamb said, noting it would be most beneficial if it can entice visitors to stay in the area longer.

Apryl Veld

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