Tech company wants to install WiFi hotspots in Toronto street furniture
A tech company hopes to expand Toronto's connectivity by installing WiFi hotspots on city benches, buildings and the TTC.
BAI Communications, a tech company that builds WiFi, cellular, broadcast, radio and IP networks and infrastructure, is lobbying the City of Toronto to install WiFi hot spots on the TTC and on street furniture.
The company is not new to Toronto. Back in December of 2017, BAI Communications Canada completed a "cellular connectivity infrastructure" for every subway stop on the TTC. Each stop was fully equipped for 4G/LTE network coverage on platforms, mezzanines, stairwells and in other public areas.
They ran into some issues when big cellular companies Bell, Telus and Rogers were reluctant to strike a deal with BAI because they would have preferred to build their own infrastructure.
Now, BAI Communications is seeking "right of way fees and locations for the installation of neutral-host and open-access wireless telecommunications equipment on TTC and City of Toronto real estate and street furniture," according to The City of Toronto Lobbyist Registry.
In an email to blogTO, BAI's VP Smart Transit and Infrastructure Ian Gallagher said the company "continues to pursue opportunities using fibre optic, cellular, WiFi, and other related technologies to improve service coverage, increase performance, increase service density, and lower consumer costs, while helping to address the digital divide in Toronto by expanding free Internet coverage areas in the City of Toronto, both indoors and outdoors."
They welcome any internet service provider, cellular carrier, and digital municipal application that requires city-wide connectivity, Gallagher said.
Using their fibreoptic, wired and wireless network built in the TTC subway, they provide connectivity and host Freedom Mobile cellular services in all subway stations as well as in tunnels throughout the downtown lower "U" and on the Toronto-York Spadina Subway extension, Gallagher added.
"We also operate the TCONNECT free WiFi service, which is currently available at all subway stations," he said.
BAI Communications are active contributors to the Toronto Free WiFi pilot project.
Providing free WiFi hotspots would be welcome by many Toronto residents, particularly in a time when we can no longer access them in cafes and restaurants.
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