Public Wi-Fi In Our Community

More Windsor-Essex residents will be able to enjoy free WiFi while out and about.

Thanks to funding from a grant by FedDev Ontario, 21 parks and public spaces are now equipped with WiFi in four Essex County municipalities. They are Essex, Kingsville, Lakeshore, and Leamington.

Windsor-Tecumseh MP Irek Kusmierczyk announced the connection Tuesday morning at the Atlas Tube Recreation Centre in Belle River, accompanied by Lakeshore Mayor Tracey Bailey, Kingsville Mayor Dennis Rogers, Essex County Warden Hilda MacDonald, and members of Lakeshore Council.

It was an effort by internet providers WaveDirect and Gosfield North. The Municipality of Lakeshore had announced an intention to support the latter on the project last summer.

Joanne Soave, CEO of Connecting Windsor-Essex, a non-profit dedicated to total connectivity in the community, said the WiFi will help residents stay connected and business owners grow.

"We've looked at over the years how many different events where there was the opportunity for small business to earn revenue at different festivals that we had throughout the county, but unfortunately, the connection would not allow for that," said Soave. "But now, we can offer cashless solutions to our local small businesses."

Sports venues make up many of the new wired-up locations announced. Noah Campbell, Connect Windsor-Essex's Director of Technical Operations and Partnerships, said a variety of places are now hooked up.

"What you see is a lot of parks, but a lot of baseball diamonds as a great example, and the marina in Leamington, so anywhere people would gather, and we want to bring in that quality of value and add it to their day-to-day," said Campbell.

Campbell added that the current standard connection speed is 50/10 megabits-per-second, but work continues to be done to exceed that benchmark.