ECA Review Reporter
The Town of Stettler have joined Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver by participating in a wireless internet pilot project that will give residents a new way to stay connected.
Stettler has become the first small town to be serviced by the Shaw GO WiFi wireless internet program which will allow citizens access to the internet, free of charge, from many places around town, including up and down main street.
“The town wanted to improve service for our residents,” said Lee Penner, Director of Parks and Leisure Services for the Town of Stettler. “We’re now in direct competition with Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver, which I think is kind of neat.”
According to Penner, other municipalities have endeavored to provide ‘main street’ wifi services to their residents, usually at great cost. Many towns who install their own networks are forced to charge for the service to offset the costs and operate it as a public utility.
Installation of the the Stettler WiFi project, which has taken two years, comes at no cost to the taxpayers. The service will be officially launched in early 2013. Until then, residents are free to access the service which is available to Shaw subscribers.
“Shaw is proud to partner with the Town of Stettler and many of the area’s businesses to provide Shaw Go WiFi in the places where our customers eat, shop and socialize,” said Peter Bissonnette, President of Shaw Communications.
In the meantime, Penner feels that the service is ‘important’ to the Town of Stettler.
“Anytime this type of service is available, it makes the town more attractive to new businesses and new people,” Penner said. “This is a lucky opportunity for Stettler.”