Getting connected

Andrea Gunn
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More Wi-Fi hotspots may be coming to Grand Falls-Windsor

Tech-savvy residents of Grand Falls-Windsor may soon benefit from a partnership between communications giant Bell Aliant and the Town.

According to Councillor Amy Coady-Davis, chair of the town’s Economic Development and Tourism committee, Bell Aliant is proposing a partnership that would see free Wi-Fi hotspots installed in certain areas of the municipality.

Coady-Davis said while the partnership is not finalized, it’s something the town is excited about.

“We like the idea of free Wi-Fi, we like the idea of the community partnership with Bell. Our Business Development Officer is discussing options with Bell Aliant, and we’re going to see what we can do,”

The town has already discussed what areas of the community they’d like to see connected, and Coady-Davis said they’ve narrowed it down to several key locations.

“The decision that we came up with is, obviously, our recreation facilities like the YMCA the Joe Byrne Memorial Stadium and the Windsor stadium,” Coady-Davis said “We’d also like to have the Church Road Park and Gorge Park areas as well as Sanger Park – they’re some of the locations we thought of quickly that have a high number of visitors, and people tend to spend a lot of time in those areas.”

In a world where people are constantly connected with smartphones, tablets and other devices, adding free Wi-Fi will mean convenience for people who visit these areas and facilities.

 “People don’t leave their homes without their smartphones – they don’t even do anything in their homes without their smartphone. You get to an area where you don’t have access or you’re using your own data package a lot, that can be very costly,” Coady-Davis said. “I know, as a parent, if you’re sitting in a stadium or a recreation facility and you’ve got a kid in an activity for two hours, it’s nice to be able to go surf the net or chat with your friends or keep up to date on the news, what’s happening and having the ability to do that without having to use up your own minutes or your own data plan. That’s got huge benefits.”

Coady-Davis said the town expects to hear more from Bell Aliant in short order, and hopes to be able to make a decision soon.

“We haven’t set a time line, (but) we’d like to be able to do it as quickly as possible; we’d love to have something in place for spring/summer,” she said.

“That will depend on the partnership and what we work out with Bell Aliant. We’ll just see where it goes from there.”

Organizations: Bell Aliant, Tourism committee, YMCA

Geographic location: Grand Falls-Windsor, Joe Byrne Memorial Stadium, Windsor stadium Gorge Park Sanger Park

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