June 22, 2017 3:03 pm
Updated: June 22, 2017 5:45 pm

Yaletown businesses foot the bill for free street Wi-Fi

Keeping on top of social media just got a whole lot easier in Yaletown. As Jordan Armstrong reports it's become the first Vancouver community to offer free street Wi-Fi, as well as solar powered outdoor charging stations.

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Sending snaps in Yaletown is now easier than ever. The Yaletown Business Improvement Association (YBIA) has launched Vancouver’s first network of free street Wi-Fi and solar-powered charging stations.

Visitors will be able to enjoy constant connectivity in Vancouver’s growing tech-hub at no cost.

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The “Yaletown Business Improvement Association has been working for three years to provide this service for visitors,” said YBIA vice president Nicholas Gandossi in a statement. “A compelling reason to visit to this neighbourhood is to enjoy all the services and not have to worry about all those roaming charges.”

Tourism Vancouver hopes that providing free Wi-Fi will help put Yaletown on the physical and social media map for visitors.

“We set this up because so many people are on social media, and social media is all about contact. So people can video, take photographs, live chat with friends—no problem,” said YBIA executive director Annette O’Shea.

Yaletown businesses are paying for the entire service. “It costs us tens of thousands of dollars and we’re on a five year contract,” said O’Shea. “We’re more than happy to have more people come, power up their devices and connect outside.”

#YaletownFree is available on Mainland Street from the Canada Line station up to B.C. Place. Coverage on Hamilton Street is scheduled to launch in two weeks. Homer Street will be added by August.

“There’s no time limit,” said O’Shea. “We wanted to create a way to be connected without having to pay for it.”

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