Edmonton’s city council has agreed to allow Shaw Communication’s Wi-Fi network to expand to municipally-owned areas across the city.
“Recent advances in digital communication are reshaping economies and societies of many cities around the world. Having readily available Wi-Fi access in our city has become a necessity to be a fully digitally connected city,” city manager Simon Farbrother said in a statement Thursday.
Shaw, the incumbent cable carrier in Alberta, British Columbia and parts of Manitoba, began building municipal Wi-Fi networks in 2011 after deciding against getting into the cellular business. That despite having paid just over $189 million for wireless spectrum in 2008.
It has signed a deal giving Rogers Communications Inc. first option to buy that spectrum when a government embargo on selling the frequencies expires in the fall of 2014. However, that deal is being reviewed by Industry Canada.
Shaw uses outdoor Wi-Fi access points from Cisco Systems Inc. Pulz believes the Edmonton expansion could need up to 1,500 access points.
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