More public spaces in Windsor-Essex connected to WiFi

More Windsor-Essex residents will be able to enjoy free WiFi on the go.

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

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

It was an attempt by internet providers WaveDirect and Gosfield North. The City of Lakeshore had announced its intention to support the latter in the project last summer.

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

“We’ve looked over the years at the number of different events where small businesses had the opportunity to earn revenue at different festivals across the province, but unfortunately the connection didn’t allow for that,” Soave said. “But now we can offer cashless solutions to our local small businesses.”

Sports locations make up a large part of the announced new cabled locations. Noah Campbell, director of technical operations and partnerships for Connect Windsor-Essex, said several places are now connected.

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

Campbell added that the current standard connection speed is 50/10 megabits per second, but efforts are still underway to exceed that benchmark.