The City of Saskatoon is launching a pilot program to provide free public Wi-Fi access in some of its central neighborhoods.
“This is an exciting project that can have an immediate impact on the quality of life for area residents,” says Celene Anger, Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer.
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In December 2016, the federal government declared internet access a basic human right for Canadian citizens. Since then, cities across the country have been looking for ways to solve this problem.
Commonly referred to as the “digital divide”, the pilot aims to help people currently without or with limited internet access gain greater access to online services and participate in today’s growing digital society.
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The pilot project is exploring a cost-effective way to provide 1,500 residents with Wi-Fi from home or in public. It will be launched in the city in an area with a high concentration of residents measured on five population groups, including:
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- Indigenous peoples
- low income
To move forward with the implementation of the project, the City will issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) next week for a vendor to supply products to provide wireless internet hotspots throughout the area. proposed.
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The City will provide high-speed fiber optic Internet access to the Saskatoon Fire Development Centre, a City-owned building located at 116 Avenue W South, which will serve as a connection point (hub) for these Wi-Fi devices.
We hope to identify opportunities, solve problems and evaluate the success of providing public Wi-Fi through this project,” says Anger.
The project is valued at $250,000 and is expected to start in late summer/fall 2022.
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