British Columbia’s First Wireless Connected Community

Sechelt Innovations Ltd. put the District of Sechelt on the map by turning it into British Columbia’s first wireless community.  The District is B.C.’s first community to offer a completely connected network of free public wireless Internet in its downtown area. This sets Sechelt apart from other municipalities in the province, and positions the Sunshine Coast municipality as a modern and viable option for businesses and families considering a move from Greater Vancouver.

“This exciting new service – accessible to everyone – will make it easier for tourists on the Sunshine Coast to see local events and map them out for free, as well as for residents using tablets and smart phones while shopping or doing business in Sechelt’s downtown core,” said Tracy Zanchetta, senior manager of business development at Sechelt Innovations Ltd., the business and economic development arm of the District of Sechelt.  “Most importantly, the wireless connected community will be an advantage for current and prospective business owners in Sechelt and attractive to the technology sector.”

The $63,000 project to bring a ‘mesh network’ of free wireless Internet to Sechelt, coordinated by Sechelt Innovations, includes:

–        2 access points on Cowrie Street

–        9 additional points on light standards on Cowrie Street

–        4 businesses that have internal access points

In addition, 22 businesses on busy Cowrie Street agreed to donate 10 per cent of broadband capability to the network.

Sechelt Innovations organized this initiative earlier this year when Telus Corp. extended its fibre optic network to the Sunshine Coast as part of a $1 billion project to spread the network across the province, particularly into rural and semi-rural areas.

The improvements in telecommunications infrastructure also mean long distance charges do not apply between the Sunshine Coast and the Lower Mainland, which helps business owners in Sechelt keep costs down and grow their business to provincial, national and international markets.

Having a network of free Internet connectivity downtown is one of many reasons the Sunshine Coast District is now an attractive place for business owners and entrepreneurs to build and grow their company and raise their family in Sechelt.