How Free is Free?

Canada’s largest city just turned on of North American’s largest Wifi networks.

Hit downtown Toronto these days and you’ll be able to hop online without wires for free. Well, for six months, anyway. After that it’s gonna cost you a cheap-like-borscht $29 per month. The network only covers the financial district now, but owner and operator Toronto Hydro Telecom – an arm of the municipal government – plans to expand it across the city.

Well, it ain’t free, like Fredericton, but here’s a thoughtful quote from David Dobbin, president of Toronto Hydro Telecom: “There are two ways to fund these networks. You can fund them through subscribers, which is what we’re doing. Or you can fund them through tax dollars, which is what other cities are doing. We don’t think that anybody in Toronto has an appetite to use tax dollars to fund this kind of a project, so we’re doing it with commercial money.”.

Municipal wifi is great and all, but methinks Toronto might have better things to do with its time and money. Like, maybe find a better reliever to support Mr. Halladay? Come on, Toronto: priorities, prorities.