Trail adding more Wi-Fi hotspots

Gyro, Butler and Haley parks among new sites in city this fall.

City council agreed to rollout a new plan that will bring free Wi-Fi to a host of parks throughout Trail this fall.

The Shaw Go Wi-Fi no charge service is open to all users, not just Shaw customers, and besides providing free access at Gyro, Haley, Andy Bilesky and Butler parks, will also enhance smartphone wireless access in the current hot spots at city hall, the Trail Memorial Centre, and the Trail Aquatic and Leisure Centre.

Members of council authorized a five-year facility attachment license agreement during the governance and operations committee meeting Monday afternoon, after confirming the city’s cost to average about $308 per year per site, and that any park user can access free Wi-Fi, regardless of their own service provider.

Until now, there hasn’t been free wireless service in the outdoor parks, explained David Perehudoff, Trail’s chief administrative officer.

The installation at the Trail facilities will enhance coverage and complement the city’s current offering, he said, noting that users will be able to search for networks available and pick the one that provides the best signal strength within each facility.

“Although we do not expect that all areas of each park will be covered,” said Perehudoff. “And there may be some spots where people will not be able to see the Shaw network.”

Duane Birnie, the city’s information systems coordinator, noted that many municipalities in the province have been approached by Shaw with the offer, and have since established a working group to study the issues surrounding the service.

The communication company’s hardware cannot be attached to the city’s decorative street lighting systems or cross walk poles, said Birnie, and when possible, Shaw will use its own infrastructure and not provide its own guest access network at those locations.

The access point, called a hotspot, has a range of about 20 metres indoors and a greater range outdoors.