Parks Canada wants to attract a younger generation to its parks and historic sites. What’s one way to do that? Offer free Wi-Fi for junkies of course! The Federal agency today noted it plans to install 25-50 free Wi-Fi hotspots at its key national parks and histories sites in 2014. Eventually, this will hit 100 hot spots in the next couple of years.
Andrew Campbell, a Parks Canada vice-president said free Wi-Fi is meant help people continue to communicate digitally in areas where cell service is limited or non-existent. He says the service is meant to complement a park experience, not allow for step-by-step tweets while someone is hiking, he tells the Calgary Herald:
“When you start to look at the hot spot and how wide they’ll range, you’re not going to be on the top of the mountain and on the middle of the glacier and getting Wi-Fi service,” said Campbell.
“It’s going to be around your campground at night where you’re going to communicate to your friends and family in ways that a lot of people do today, through Facebook or Twitter, putting your Instagram photo up.”
Parks Canada says Wi-Fi will be free at most sites, but says they reserve the right to charge a fee where it would be costly to maintain service.
Out of 125 Parks Canada site where Wi-Fi could be coming, 26 national parks listed include: Gwaii Haanas, Banff, Jasper, Kootenay, Yoho, Wood Buffalo, Waterton Lakes, Nahanni, St. Lawrence Islands, Fundy, Cape Breton Highlands and Labrador’s Torngat Mountains. The Rideau Canal is also listed, along with Laurier House in Ottawa.
Right now, Parks Canada is coming up with a list of bids from qualified suppliers, with finalists expected to be able to supply year-round or seasonal on-demand Wi-Fi service for a budget up to $500,000.
What does this mean? Get ready to be bombarded with more pictures from parks and other sites on your Instagram, Facebook and Twitter feeds!