What type of locations are Wireless Toronto interested in?
We are interested in talking to many types of businesses and groups, parks, cafes, community centres, libraries, restaurants, malls, etc.
I'd like to offer free wireless Internet access to my venue's visitors/customers; who should I talk to?
Great! Email email@example.com.
How much will it cost me? What do I get?
To have a hotspot on the Wireless Toronto network costs $50/year. This network membership fee includes 24/7 monitoring of the hotspot status, technical support for your visitors/customers, a listing on our hotspot list (web and print), and stickers indicating that your venue is a Wireless Toronto hotspot.
The wireless router which powers the network (Linksys WRT54GL) costs about $70. One router is normally enough to cover small-to-medium-sized spaces. We can purchase the router on your behalf, or tell you where you can find them. If you require any additional wiring, we can install it for the cost of the materials.
Of course, you also need to have high-speed Internet access; if you don't currently have it, we can recommend a low-cost, wireless-friendly independent ISP and help you set up the connection.
What if I can't afford all that?
If you're a public venue (meaning that everyone's welcome, and loitering is allowed), we can work with you to find a sponsor to cover the costs.
What if something goes wrong?
If someone has trouble connecting to the Wireless Toronto network, they can contact us by email or phone. Venue staff don't need to provide technical support.
If there's a problem with the hotspot, we'll have someone check it as soon as possible. As a volunteer group, we can't make any guarantees about how long it'll take, but typically it's no more than a few hours.
Will my venue fill up with anti-social nerds staring at their computers?
We don't think so -- lots of people are using laptops these days: writers, musicians, students, etc. If you're concerned about the appropriateness of free wireless Internet access in your venue, talk to us, we'll be honest: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can I run ads on my hotspot's community page?
No. If you'd like to do some particular customization of your hotspot's community page, let us know and we'll work with you to find a solution.
Is anyone else offering similar services in Toronto?
Yes, lots! Wireless Toronto is a volunteer-run community group, but there are several alternatives, some of which also offer free wireless Internet access to users:
wirelessnomad.com - a local co-op ISP offering bandwidth-limited WiFi access to non-members
wifidel.com - ad-supported free WiFi access at a few spots in the PATH
canadianhotspot.ca - a consortium of cellphone carriers offering expensive WiFi to expense-account-enabled business users
boldstreet.com - an Ottawa-based commercial wireless ISP with a few spots in restaurants in Toronto
mainspot.ca - a Toronto-based commercial wireless ISP with a few spots across the GTA
What else should I know?
You can leave the Wireless Toronto network at any time, but the membership fee is nonrefundable.