Wi-Fi network will connect residents and visitors to the Internet for free while providing local businesses a wireless platform for digital advertising

Businesses along a major street in Ottawa have partnered with a local wireless service company to provide free Wi-Fi service in the area.

The Wellington West Business Improvement Area, an organization made up of more than 400 businesses and 260 commercial property owners located in just over a two kilometer stretch of Wellington Street in the nation’s capital are working with IceNet Wireless on a pilot project that will rollout free outdoor Wi-Fi service and an integrated digital media platform for businesses, residents and visitors in the area which covers several neighbourhoods.

The Wi-Fi project was born out of a research conducted in partnership with Creative Neighbourhoods, an Ottawa-based non-profit organization dedicated to improving the use and design of public space. The research revealed that the WWBIA needed to invest in way-finding strategies.

“The project will aim to create an engaging experience for shoppers, business owners, visitors and residents,” said Randy Kemp, chair of the WWBIA. “It will also go a long way in laying the foundation for a future projects that involve wireless connectivity.”

The installation of continuous Wi-Fi along Wellington St. West will begin next month and continue over the summer. The service is expected to be available by end of summer.

IceNet is a wireless provider that facilitates direct digital advertising and branding. It sets up free Wi-Fi access that also serves as links to community information and coupons from local companies.

The company’s free wireless not only gives consumers a chance to connect to the Internet but also “gives companies the ability to keep in touch with the customers,” according the IceNet.

“This will strengthen the commercial corridor of Wellington West and enhance consumer shopping experience,” said Dr. Anand Srinivisan, vice-president of technology for IceNet.

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