As the recent flurry of activity on this blog may suggest, we’ve been up to quite a bit at Wireless Toronto over the past few weeks. This month we find ourselves at our fourth anniversary and passing another significant milestone, the 20,000th registered user of Toronto’s free community wireless network.
After four years we remain passionate about the opportunities that free Wi-Fi in Toronto’s public spaces can present for community and continue to do our best to encourage its development, implementation and use.
For those of you who don’t already know, we’ve been using Twitter and our Facebook page in an attempt to communicate more effectively with interested people and users of the network – so make sure to follow us there if that’s your thing.
Below is the official press release that was sent out to mark the occasion:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wireless Toronto Celebrates 4 Years of Community Wi-Fi with 20,000th User.
TORONTO, ON June 9, 2009 – Wireless Toronto has been quietly and creatively championing free wifi in the city’s cafes, parks, and public spaces since 2005. This month, the all-volunteer group also celebrated signing up its 20,000th user to its network of over 30 hotspots across the GTA, including the newly-upgraded Dufferin Grove Park, Yonge-Dundas Square, St. Lawrence Market, and Harbourfront Centre.
Wireless Toronto employs a community-centred model for deploying free wifi. Internet connections and wireless equipment are paid for by the hotspot venues, or sponsors. There’s no cost to users who want to use the network, and there are no ads on Wireless Toronto community portal pages. Users are simply asked to login each time they use a hotspot. The community wifi model has been championed in Canada by Montreal’s Ile Sans Fil, and has been successful in several cities in Quebec, Edmonton and Vancouver.
In addition to enabling users to work, learn, and communicate, Wireless Toronto hotspots offer a unique interface linking to location-specific content, which can be an opportunity to connect with people and events in the surrounding neighbourhood.
Or, as co-founder Gabe Sawhney says, “as much as Wireless Toronto is about wi-fi and technology, it’s also about community and public space”.
For more information and updates about Wireless Toronto:
Hilary Krupa, firstname.lastname@example.org, 647-258-1686