Toronto Hydro Wi-Fi Announcement and Pushback

7 Mar ’06

Toronto Hydro has made the expected announcement of a wifi cloud over Toronto. The (by December 31) footprint is from Spadina to Jarvis and Front to Bloor, with the downtown core to be operational by the end of June, and the suggestion of further expansion later. Lots more info at Wireless Toronto’s blog.

Mark Evans’ report in the Post describes the predictable complaints from competing service providers, who argue that projects like this should be left to them – companies so far unwilling to undertake them. Notably, it’s only day one and it already appears that a key part of their PR campaign will be to emulate the US access providers, and attempt to frighten Toronto voters with the spectre of Toronto Hydro undertaking a business that they describe as complex and costly – the subtext being that projects of this type ought to be left ‘to the experts’ – oligopolists thus far unwilling to undertake such projects, presumably out of a concern that it will hasten the commoditization of their wireline and hotspot businesses. One has to assume that vigorous attempts to lobby the pols are already underway.

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