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Toronto Hydro Launches Free Wi-Fi Network

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the everything's-bigger-in-canada dept.

155

k. writes to let us know about the launch Wednesday of Toronto Hydro's city-wide Wi-Fi network, at 6 square kilometers said to be the largest in North America by the time rollout is complete in December. The service will be free for 6 months and then will cost $29 (Canadian) per month, $10 for a day, or $5 for an hour. Toronto Hydro gets around fears of the Four Horsemen of the Infocalypse by requiring use of one's cell-phone number as the user ID.

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Second Post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16059148)

SECOND POST!!!!!!

slashdot losers (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16059161)

good bye loosers

Oh to hack.. (2, Funny)

Siberwulf (921893) | more than 7 years ago | (#16059175)

Toronto Hydro gets around fears of the Four Horsemen of the Infocalypse by requiring use of one's cell-phone number as the user ID.

Oh to hack that database... It would probably be better just to submit your SSN in plaintext.

Re:Oh to hack.. (4, Funny)

geoffspear (692508) | more than 7 years ago | (#16059210)

Oddly enough, many Toronto residents for some reason don't qualify for a SSN.

Re:Oh to hack.. (1)

Siberwulf (921893) | more than 7 years ago | (#16059264)

Give it about 20 years, everyone in the world will have a SSN ;-)

</propaganda>

Re:Oh to hack.. (1)

lynx_user_abroad (323975) | more than 7 years ago | (#16059417)

Give it about 20 years, everyone in the world will have a SSN ;-)

Everyone in the world already has an SSN, they just haven't all been notified yet.

Re:Oh to hack.. (1)

PFI_Optix (936301) | more than 7 years ago | (#16059471)

We're gonna have to move to SSN2 (point oh) to support that many.

It'll take twenty years just for Democrats and Republicans to agree on the new number format. Then they'll have to approve a shinier--I mean harder to forge--card, adding another several years.

Re:Oh to hack.. (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 7 years ago | (#16059452)

> Oddly enough, many Toronto residents for some reason don't qualify for a SSN.

This is true. They have to make do with SINs.

Re:Oh to hack.. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16059552)

So *you're* the guy who goes around explaining jokes. Speaking of which, I've been wondering the meaning of the chicken crossing the road one. Can you do that?
 

Re:Oh to hack.. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16060025)

fowl play

Re:Oh to hack.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16059220)

Canadians use a SIN (Social Insurance #) as supposed to a SSN

Re:Oh to hack.. (1)

Tsen Wrath (953066) | more than 7 years ago | (#16059610)

Did you google search that all by yourself? =)

Re:Oh to hack.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16059286)

what does the database have in it besides mobile #, username, password? from the article, the mobile # is used to send the initial credential, so the mobile # does not have to be stored in a database. the mobile # could simply be retained long enough to send a message with the username/password and then the mobile # number can go away. granted, i bet they retain the cell phone number, but still, that's worse than an SSN? anyhow, i think you meant SIN, not SSN.

Re:Oh to hack.. (1)

Malc (1751) | more than 7 years ago | (#16059401)

Cellphone? What a pain in the arse. I only got my first mobile phone 18 months ago, and am thinking of getting rid of it. They're more a nuisance and unnecessary cost than anything. I tried using my laptop at the local Second Cup, which has one of these HotSpots. They too require a mobile number (Rogers, Telus, Bell, etc). Of course, it wouldn't accept mine, I suspect because I use pay-as-you-go (cheaper for me than a regular plan). Anyway, for the cost, I will stick with my 5Mbs DSL with static IP... when I hit the streets of Toronto, I like to leave the technology at home and enjoy life a bit.

Re:Oh to hack.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16059832)

Canadian's have SINs (Social Insurance Numbers) which is a much better acronym.

Whoo. (3, Interesting)

tygerstripes (832644) | more than 7 years ago | (#16059192)

Hmm. Impressive? The City of Norfolk [norfolkopenlink.com] in Norwich, UK, would beg to differ [bbc.co.uk] . To whit:
a 4km radius from County Hall, as well as key sites to the east and west of the city: Broadland Business Park , University of East Anglia , Norwich Science Park and Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital. In addition 28 hotspots in South Norfolk will be enabled shortly.
That's pretty decent coverage for a back-water city in UK farmer country, and it's free. Kind of throws some context into this article, I reckon.

Re:Whoo. (1)

Bondolon (1000444) | more than 7 years ago | (#16059230)

Yeah, the prices are pretty ridiculous (if not the per-month, then the per-day and per-hour). I'm not sure I'd be willing to drop $10 for a day's worth of internet.

Re:Whoo. (1)

Yst (936212) | more than 7 years ago | (#16059483)

New Orleans' wireless coverage [cityofno.com] is similarly quite decent. And free, and anonymous, and fairly successfully blankets the downtown. Having used it on a recent trip down to NO, I'd be delighted to have something similar here in Toronto. This, however - temporarily free, spotty, non-anonymous coverage exclusively over the downtown core (excluding on the periphery even some areas would generally be considered "downtown" here) - isn't exactly the sort of thing I was hoping for in Toronto municipal wireless.

Re:Whoo. (1)

Malc (1751) | more than 7 years ago | (#16059501)

Norfolk's a county, not a city. Most of those places you mentioned are in one place. I went to the UEA (University of Extreme Apathy) myself. More interesting is the coverage south of the city, which when I was there, is getting a little too far east for prime UEA student territory. Anyway, what do you mean by "South Norfolk" - they have coverage in Thetford too?

ANyway, look at the coverage maps. It's hardly an 8km diameter around County Hall. County Hall to UEA is probably 4km at most, and the coverage doesn't go the otherway.

Re:Whoo. (1)

tygerstripes (832644) | more than 7 years ago | (#16059546)

Ach, that Norfolk/Norwich thing has always been a blind spot for me; sorry. However, the rest was a blockquote from the site - I saw the maps too, which made me skeptical of the claims, but honestly I just remember reading about this when I saw the /. article and thinking "What the hell? How is this impressive?". It's hardly news when incremental progressions of that magnitude have been going on for the last couple of years all over the developed world. I just wanted to put it in perspective.

Re:Whoo. (1)

Malc (1751) | more than 7 years ago | (#16059835)

Indeed, it sounds like they're making it sound better than it is. Anyway, I'm three streets from where the final coverage will end, but no sour grapes here. With these 100 year old buildings and their thick walls, it's hard to get any kind of long range coverage. The Second Cup is probably about 50m from here and I rarely even see it in Network Stumbler when I'm sitting outside in my yard... let alone sitting indoors. So we shall have to see how well this thing works!

Re:Whoo. (1)

Raistlin77 (754120) | more than 7 years ago | (#16059788)

From the article:

...at 6 square kilometers said to be the largest in North America by the time rollout is complete in December...

You must have missed that North America part...

Disposable cell phones... (4, Informative)

denis-The-menace (471988) | more than 7 years ago | (#16059201)

If I wanted to use this network for bad things I would just have to get a Disposable cell phone and go from there.

Re:Disposable cell phones... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16059280)

Except that there are no such things as "disposable cell phones" - just try to get a cell phone number from anywhere in the world without proper ID and you'll understand ;)

Re:Disposable cell phones... (2, Interesting)

Thansal (999464) | more than 7 years ago | (#16059343)

I worked in RS for a year or so.

Walk in, ask for prepaid phone, give false info (no ID checked), pay with cash, walk out. I have sold phones to people I am relativly sure were ussing them for illicit goals, however I can't simply not sell them the phone as that is illegal :D

On top of that msot prepaid phones can have their phone numbers changed with little or no hastle!

If that isn't disposable, I don't know what is.

Re:Disposable cell phones... (1)

Raistlin77 (754120) | more than 7 years ago | (#16059909)

however I can't simply not sell them the phone as that is illegal

By most state laws in the US, any retailer can refuse service to any customer for any reason whatsoever. The only person you have to answer to for refusing a customer service is your manager, however, I would think that the customer providing fraudulent credentials is certainly a valid reason in any manager's eyes.

Re:Disposable cell phones... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16060007)

"By most state laws in the US, any retailer can refuse service to any customer for any reason whatsoever."

In Canada things are very different in this respect. Private businesses cannot discriminate on the basis of a large number of client attributes (age, gender, sexual orentiation, marital status, etc.). In America employers can fire employees at will, in Canada this generally cannot be done without cause unless you give compensation based upon a number of factors including how long the employment was for.

Re:Disposable cell phones... (1)

Irvu (248207) | more than 7 years ago | (#16060162)

No not without any reason. There are clearly defined reasons for which you cannot refuse someone service (e.g. the color of their skin). Moreover as I understand it, you cannot legally get away with refusing people ad-hoc. If nothing else it opens you up to very extensive lawsuits. Some retailers post signs on their doors claiming "we reserve the right to refuse service" but again that does not protect them if they refuse for capricious or apparently illegal reasons. In that event they would face any one of a number of problems.

This is especially true of national chains that cannot really be open to having different standards in each store. For that reason they often establish very homogenious and restrictive rules for their employees.

Your are correct in that providing fraudulent credentials would be reason to refuse but then again most stores don't require credentials (or have any legal basis for demanding them) when purchasing disposable cellphones.

While one might "be sure someone was using them for illegal goals" the assurance of one person is not proof, and unless you want to live in a society where being suspected of a crime is a crime (in which case I suspect you are a criminal so go turn yourself in) then it is better to require standards of legal proof and to force others to adhere to it. If not then we end up in a place where noone can do anything outside the norm without getting severely punished. Such situations are incompatible with sustainable human societies.

Re:Disposable cell phones... (1)

orasio (188021) | more than 7 years ago | (#16059348)

Stolen cellphones are a dime a dozen where I live. Well, they are around five hundred pesos, something like 22 canadian dollars.

Re:Disposable cell phones... (1)

mabba18 (897753) | more than 7 years ago | (#16059383)

Well, you can walk into many a Canadian store, and walk out with a Virgin Mobile handset for $50CDN, paid for with cash. Activation is done on the internet with no information needed.

Disposable? Dunno. Anonymous? Definatly.

Yes there are! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16059418)

Where I live... in a socialistic country in the nothern part of Europe, you can get a GSM-phone and/or a SIM-card (with a phone number) without showing any ID-card whatsoever, completely legally. Just walk into the government-owned shops and get it over the desk. The prepaid card may not work in USA/Canada though.

Re:Disposable cell phones...useless to reply to AC (2, Informative)

non (130182) | more than 7 years ago | (#16059352)

no, the (grand)parent is correct. i'm curioius, what do you know about 'anywhere in the world'? in fact disposable handhelds have been available for at least ten years in countries that are generally referred to as 3rd world. take chile for example, or mexico.

perhaps you followed the vodaphone scandal in greece this spring, whereby telephone network software was hacked in order to route communication to one of a number of 'disposable' phones? you can buy them at tag sales; do you really think that they're going to ask for your ID at a tag sale?

Re:Disposable cell phones... (2, Insightful)

nojomofo (123944) | more than 7 years ago | (#16059369)

Shhhh..... Don't say that too loud. What they need (and using cell phone number provides) is the appearance of preventing the four horsemen from being able to use the service for their goals. It's a nice, big loophole for those who actually want privacy and freedom to slip through.

Way to expensive! (1)

InsaneProcessor (869563) | more than 7 years ago | (#16059214)

I wouldn't touch that network for the price they want. Way to pricey!

I have a land line, you insensitive clod! (2, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#16059222)

Toronto Hydro gets around fears of the Four Horsemen of the Infocalypse by requiring use of one's cell-phone number as the user ID.

So for people who rely on a land-line telephone, it isn't 30 CAD per month; it's 60, including the cost of a cell phone. (Or am I completely off about what cell phone contracts cost in Canada?)

Re:I have a land line, you insensitive clod! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16059267)

>So for people who rely on a land-line telephone, it isn't 30 CAD per month; it's 60, including the cost of a cell phone.

If you get pay as you go, a crap phone is about $70, and the minimum cards are usually about $15. So, for a one time fee, you can have a cell phone number for $85. Still sucks, though.

Re:I have a land line, you insensitive clod! (1)

mabba18 (897753) | more than 7 years ago | (#16059476)

Shop around, you can get a handset for $50CDN, including $10 airtime.

Your account expires if not topped up (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#16059609)

If you get pay as you go, a crap phone is about $70, and the minimum cards are usually about $15. So, for a one time fee

At least in the United States, a prepaid account can no longer place or receive calls if it has not been "topped up" in the last x days. Then, assuming we're still in Canadian dollars, it's $70 + $45/mo including monthly top-up cards. Or are network operators forbidden to expire accounts this way in Canada?

Re:I have a land line, you insensitive clod! (1)

Thansal (999464) | more than 7 years ago | (#16059281)

the cellphone thing is a one time entry, it is just so they can send you a text message with your name/pw. and $30 a month for (I am assuming) broadband speeds is not all that bad....

Re:I have a land line, you insensitive clod! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16059290)

FYI: I just signed on for a Virgin Mobile phone yesterday...I estimate it will cost about $15/month over the course of the year due to pay-as-you-go wireless airtime credits expiring after a certain length of time. my landline phone remains my "primary" phone ...I just got this for emergencies and voice mail...and now evidently I can use a "cell phone number" as an authorization code now in Toronto for WiFi.. WooHoo

Re:I have a land line, you insensitive clod! (1)

mabba18 (897753) | more than 7 years ago | (#16059456)

If you put $100 on the phone, it is good for a year, which works out to $8.30/month. Possible the least expensive cell in Canada

Re:I have a land line, you insensitive clod! (1)

creepynut (933825) | more than 7 years ago | (#16059843)

That's only if you don't use it. It still costs 25c/min for first 5 minutes of the day...
15c/min for the rest of the day, and Long distance is another story.

Of course, it's nice that it's free for call display, voice messaging, receiving text messages.

Still, I have a Virgin Mobile phone, but I'd never use it for a full conversation.

Re:I have a land line, you insensitive clod! (1)

Yst (936212) | more than 7 years ago | (#16059351)

Cells are as little as $20CDN/mo, but $30CDN/mo is more typical (and typical of your mainstream Bell cell). My question, though, would be: accessing the network on the initial free basis, what's to stop people from simply using the cell numbers of just any other person at all but themselves for the sake of anonymity? Nothing, presumably? And if so, what's the point?

Re:I have a land line, you insensitive clod! (1)

lotrtrotk (853897) | more than 7 years ago | (#16059614)

I would guess it's the same basic idea as most website account signups. The number you give them probably recieves a confirmation message. If you don't reply, you don't get access.

No physical possession of phone, no password. (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#16059631)

what's to stop people from simply using the cell numbers of just any other person at all but themselves for the sake of anonymity?

Because then somebody else would receive the SMS containing the password to the network, not you. But for one thing, this invite system (also used by Gmail) doesn't discourage nigga stole my phone [ytmnsfw.com] . For another, the question remains: Why can't land-line phones receive SMS?

Re:I have a land line, you insensitive clod! (3, Funny)

Jonny_eh (765306) | more than 7 years ago | (#16059855)

Don't forget the $500-$2000 setup fee for people who don't have a computer.

Four horsemen??? (1)

ryanhos (125502) | more than 7 years ago | (#16059233)

terrorists, pedophiles, drug dealers, and money launderers huh? I'd take money launderers over murderers any day of the week! We're saying it's worse to cover up a bit of white collar crime than it is to kill someone?

Re:Four horsemen??? (1)

geoffspear (692508) | more than 7 years ago | (#16059349)

To be fair, it's a bit tricky to murder someone over the Internet.

Re:Four horsemen??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16059370)

Kill another serf and that's just one less serf. Steal from rich people and you're going down big time.

Re:Four horsemen??? (1)

be-fan (61476) | more than 7 years ago | (#16059374)

Money laundering is associated with organized crime.

Re:Four horsemen??? (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 7 years ago | (#16059503)

"Associated with" is a very convenient line of argument. It can be used to justify denouncing just about anything you wish.

Re:Four horsemen??? (1)

be-fan (61476) | more than 7 years ago | (#16059638)

I don't mean money launderers have tenuous connections to organized crime. I mean the act of money laundering is one that is part of the list of illegal activities carried out by organized crime outfits.

The large-scale, international money-laundering operations that exist do so to fund organized crime. Much work in the financial sector deals with trying to detect these money-laundering transactions through the international financial grid. That's why money laundering is one of the four-horsemen. It's not referring to small-scale laundering carried out by white-collar criminals, but the large-scale laundering that fuels criminal organizations.

Re:Four horsemen??? (1)

orasio (188021) | more than 7 years ago | (#16059475)

White collar crimes are no better than the other kind.
Where I live, some bankers (Peirano, Rohm, and others, in uruguayan banks Comercial, Montevideo, and more), stole some hundred million dollars, and became one of the cause why the country entered a several year financial crisis, halting development, and effectively harming infrastructure. That has a social effect, and physically harms people, and can even kill them, like in the cases where "white collar criminals" steal from humanitarian help.
Just because consequences are not easily seen, it doesn't mean that white collar criminals are not actual criminals. Commonly, their effect in society as a whole can be much worse.

Money laundering was just part of their crimes, but money launderers in general are not to be regarded as harmless.

Of course, money laundering is always related to other illicit activities, too.

Correction: The Four *current* horsemen (1)

jj_gallo (992788) | more than 7 years ago | (#16060108)

"terrorists, pedophiles, drug dealers, and money launderers"

Remember when it used to be blacks, gays, jews and communists? Or when it was alcohol, nudity / skinny dipping, women voting, and comic books?

Don't worry, I'm sure a new set of of bugaboos will be comin' around the corner.

four horseman - the pedophile (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16059237)

God I'm SO tired of all the media fear mongering about pedophiles using myspace... people are making money by going around and giving talks about keeping your kid safe on myspace., police depts are holding press conferences trumpeting their successes because they tricked some 40 year old lawyer into meeting their undercover officer at a burger king...

Is everyone out to cornhole my kid? Because watching the news, it sure seems like it.

On a serious note, what is driving this? Is it just media outlets looking for ratings?

Re:four horseman - the pedophile (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16059666)

Basically, yeah. And it's not like the pedophile thing is new (the ancient greeks were into that stuff big time) or like it's going away anytime soon, no matter how harsh the penalties are. The best thing parents can do is to monitor their kids closely, instead of relying on the government asshats (most of who couldn't care less about your kid anyway).
The media and government are just in it for the money/power, and that's the way it's always been and always will be. If you don't like that, then do your part to castrate them in any which way you can. Stop giving them power!

Quick note about cell number ussage (4, Informative)

Thansal (999464) | more than 7 years ago | (#16059256)

from TFA # Enter your mobile phone number in the space provided. # You will instantly receive a text message containing your username and password. # Enter your username and password. # Start surfing. # Your username and password will remain valid for free service until March 2007 Your cell number is not your ID, they are just ussing a cell number much like you would use an E-Mail for registering for a forum or some such, Kinda like how GMail is giving out accounts (or was, I don't remember if it is still up). This is not designed as a counter to the 4 horsemen scare, infact it would be horribly easy for any one to obtain as many anon logins as they wanted via use of prepaid phones and changing the hpone numbers (something even prepaid accounts let you do).

Account activation details (1)

LaughingCoder (914424) | more than 7 years ago | (#16059269)

FTA:
To gain access to One Zone WiFi follow the easy steps below.

Open your WiFi enabled device Use the network connections manager on your WiFi enabled device to view available wireless networks. Select the SSID One Zone_High Speed Internet Open your web browser and visit the new user page. Enter your mobile phone number in the space provided. You will instantly receive a text message containing your username and password. Enter your username and password. Start surfing. Your username and password will remain valid for free service until March 2007


So what is to stop people from giving their username/password combos to their friends, or posting them in public places? Currently it's free, so maybe it's no big deal, but how about when it's a pay-for service? I wonder if a particular username can only be logged in on one device at a time? Or perhaps the username/password expires periodically (monthly if you don't pay your bill, and at the end of the "free" period in March 2007)?

Focus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16059277)

Wow. That's great. As someone who lives in Toronto, I'm glad to see that we have a Wi-Fi network in the downtown core...but personally, I would rather have Toronto Hydro work on retiring the money it owes to tax payers in the form of debt versus starting up a new business it has no expertise in.

What is their target market going to really be? (1)

FreakerSFX (256894) | more than 7 years ago | (#16059291)

I suppose the people who might buy into this are those with mobile wifi devices who have cash to burn. The whole blackberry-type crowd doesn't need this service and for home users it's too pricey. You can get broadband DSL or cable in Canada for $29 per month. It seems kind of niche to me.

Re:What is their target market going to really be? (1)

MrJynxx (902913) | more than 7 years ago | (#16059889)

There's a ton of condos in and around the area coverage, now that being said most condos have T1's running into the building so access from you condo isn't an issue.

However, a lot of people in this area are pretty active and tend to wander around the downtown core a lot so really it'll let these people take their laptop and goto the local coffee shop and surf they're lives away..

But they are already having issues with users in office buildings, more specifically offices with reflective glass. There's even a Royal Bank building that has a trace amounts of gold in the glass to have a gold reflection which doesn't let ANY radio in (at least not until they increase the signal strength).

I'm personally going to give it a try this week to see how good it really is.

MrJynx

Secured at all? (1)

sherpajohn (113531) | more than 7 years ago | (#16059313)

I cannot see anywhere in the article (or the original site itself) where they are using any encryption whatsoever, it looks kinda unsecure to me. Yeah, the article says its as risky as wired access, but AFAIK no one is tapping my DSL line ;)

Re:Secured at all? (1)

greed (112493) | more than 7 years ago | (#16059863)

Ummmm.

If you need an encrypted connection, use an encrypted protocol; don't rely on the media to be secure. Doesn't everything know how to do TLS SMTP, IMAP, and POP3 these days? And https has been around for almost as long as http.

Or if you really need wire security, here's a thought: buy a service that provides wire security. Don't expect it from city-wide wireless, just as you shouldn't expect that sort of security from any radio communications.

Free? (4, Funny)

Otter (3800) | more than 7 years ago | (#16059314)

Toronto Hydro Launches Free Wi-Fi Network

As if things weren't complicated enough, now we have free-as-in-speech, free-as-in-beer, and free-as-in-$5/hour..

Incidentally, if a digitalnetizengeezerologism like "The Four Horsemen" has caught on so poorly that you need to link to some netidinoWiredsaur's email from 1995, it's probably not worth hanging on to.

Re:Free? (1)

Chacham (981) | more than 7 years ago | (#16059665)

and free-as-in-$5/hour..

Almost as good as Comcast's "unlimited" usage.

$10 a day, what a deal (1)

aplusjimages (939458) | more than 7 years ago | (#16059316)

Does this sound a little steep to anyone? If I was on a business trip it would be more feesible to go with the monthly plan.

Doing the Math (1)

neonprimetime (528653) | more than 7 years ago | (#16059356)

$29 (Canadian) per month, $10 for a day, or $5 for an hour.

$29 per month = $29 for one month
$10 for a day = approx $300 per month
$5 an hour = approx $3600 per month

Agreed, $10 and $5 both sound steep!

Re:Doing the Math (1)

denis-The-menace (471988) | more than 7 years ago | (#16059414)

It this was MoneyMark or a credit card company then we would call it "price gouging".

Re:Doing the Math (1)

bestinshow (985111) | more than 7 years ago | (#16059459)

If you're in Toronto for under 3 days though, the $10/day is acceptable.

If you're going to check the internet for an hour every other day over the course of a week, the $5 a day is acceptable.

However I suspect that most people will go for the safe $29 option. So if they only use it for 4 hours over their visit duration, the company has made an extra $9. If the per hour and per day fees were set at a reasonable level, then more people would go for them, thus possibly reducing the income to the company. $3/hr and $6/day seems a bit more reasonable though.

Just to clarify... (2, Interesting)

k4_pacific (736911) | more than 7 years ago | (#16059362)

Toronto Hydro is the power company, not the water company. Just in case you were wondering.

Re:Just to clarify... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16059408)

I thought it was "Toronto Hydro Launches..." as in they shot it out of a water cannon or dumped in a river or something

Re:Just to clarify... (3, Funny)

kripkenstein (913150) | more than 7 years ago | (#16060172)

Toronto Hydro is the power company, not the water company. Just in case you were wondering.

Electricity, water, whatever. Just as long as we are clear that the internet is, in fact, a series of pipes.

Sure, here we have wi-fi for part of the way, but after that it's pipes galore.

Something for the 3rd world to emulate... (1)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 7 years ago | (#16059376)

I know Toronto Hydro is not the first entity to use electricity lines and WIFI as a means of acessing the internet.

What I am saying is that poor nations of the world, with old school telephone lines that are non existent or so bad, could use their electricity lines to provide internet access. The number of electricity users in these countries is always greater than landline users.

These folks can count on "friendly" Canada and Toronto Hydro for lessons in setup.

Re:Something for the 3rd world to emulate... (1)

conteXXt (249905) | more than 7 years ago | (#16059426)

Are they really using the power lines for the transmission?

I seem to recall Hydro having a very extensive fibre network.

They plan to roll out smart meters using (you guessed it fibre)
and piggybacking wired access to homes down the road soon too.

Anyone know the details?

Re:Something for the 3rd world to emulate... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16060051)

They're not using power lines.

They decided to spin off a commercial Internet access division a few years back when they realized they had dark fiber going into something like 90%+ of buildings in Toronto's downtown core.

They had them all terminating at their NOC, and basically plugged them into a switch, lit them up, and now provide Internet access and/or point-to-point services to these buildings as required.

(A few years ago a company I used to work that did "managed services" in Toronto was approached by them when they were starting out. I was out of the company by that point, but friends told me about it.)

Four horsemen? (1)

novus ordo (843883) | more than 7 years ago | (#16059423)

terrorists, pedophiles, drug dealers, and money launderers, oh my!

FIVE Horsemen, TFA forgot "Commie Bastards" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16059805)

Well I know it doesn't work in the rest of the world, but in the US we still have five horsemen!

Every time Bush says "safeguard our way of life" or mentions the "free market", he's referring to our Number 5.

So is it free or not? (1)

Wayne247 (183933) | more than 7 years ago | (#16059440)

Free at 29,95$ per month is not so free in my book. Way to mislead with the title there, poster!

Free for limited time (2, Interesting)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 7 years ago | (#16059457)

It should be noted that it is only free for the initial trial period. Then, if experience of other city Wi-Fi solutions is anything to go by, then the hourly rate will be more than a days worth of home DSL.

Re:Free for limited time (1)

Khuffie (818093) | more than 7 years ago | (#16059633)

Thank you for stating what's already in the summary? And ya, the hourly rate is expensive, but the monthly rate is $29 / month.

Re:Free for limited time (1)

bidule (173941) | more than 7 years ago | (#16059650)

It should be noted that it is only free for the initial trial period. Then, if experience of other city Wi-Fi solutions is anything to go by, then the hourly rate will be more than a days worth of home DSL.

Wow! Nice trolling. Apples and oranges.

<sarcasm>
I am sure that if you could rent a DSL by the hour, you'd pay more in a day than in a month of Hydro Wi-Fi. Damn them DSL provider, them trying to rip you off!
</sarcasm>

Another proof that stoopid moderators exist.

Free? I call BS.... (1)

DarthVain (724186) | more than 7 years ago | (#16059482)

Its free for the first 6 months then they charge you 29$..... Last I checked both Bell and Rogers both have a 3 Months "Free" then bend you over a fence policy also. My definition of "Free" must be different than other peoples. I thought it meant something you didn't have to pay for, ever. Really because as soon as that "ever" kicks in, it ain't really free anymore, is it?

Anyway still pretty cool though, good for Hydro and TO. Wee!

$30? (1)

bendodge (998616) | more than 7 years ago | (#16059493)

Isn't $30 a month kind of stiff?

Re:$30? (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 7 years ago | (#16059717)

Those are Canadian dollars, they're not worth much in real money. 10$CAD a day or 5$CAD and hour is still insane though.

Re:$30? (1)

ddurdle (803709) | more than 7 years ago | (#16059785)

Most pay-for-use wifi spots in Toronto are $8/hour or $15/day.

Re:$30? (1)

MrJynxx (902913) | more than 7 years ago | (#16059829)

huh Canadian dollar isn't worth much in "real money". If your referring to USD, it's costing you guys almost .91cents for one of our dollars which is the best it's been since the 70's. :)

MrJynx

Re:$30? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16059902)

When my salary in Toronto is paid in CAD, it sure as hell is "real money" to me. But, alas, I suppose your definition of "real" is USD. Which, last I checked is floundering relative to the Canadian dollar. So, I guess real money is that which comes from a stagnating war driven economy.

So, you pay your $9.81 US for the service and use your "real money".

When I was a waiter, there was nothing worse than damn American Tourists giving a $1 USD tip, assuming I would bend over and kiss their ass for access to their super valuable currency.

Marketing Buttwipes (1)

jo42 (227475) | more than 7 years ago | (#16059582)

How does "city-wide" equal 6 sq. km?

In Toronto, 6 sq. km is a small fraction of the city.

This is NOT "city-wide".

Fscking Liars.

Re:Marketing Buttwipes (2, Funny)

rikkards (98006) | more than 7 years ago | (#16059826)

Yeah but the way Torontonians talk, they are Canada so it would be equivalent as "City-wide" :)

PDX mo betta (1)

Killshot (724273) | more than 7 years ago | (#16059641)

Portland, OR. is getting 134 sq miles of free wifi. Slower speeds will be ad supported, faster speeds you can pay for.

Much better sounding project than America's hat is trying for.

NOT city wide coverage! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16059720)

The summary is wrong.

This is *NOT* city wide coverage; TFA claims it's just from from Jarvis to Spadina, and from Bloor to Front Street. That's a tiny fraction of Toronto. My house isn't covered. My work isn't covered. Most people won't be affected by this; the coverage area houses a few office towers and a lot of shops, and nightclubs. While shopping, or clubbing, and you won't be using your wifi for either of those.

If they had put the wifi down near the waterfront, so that people could lounge on the beaches with their laptops, that would be cool. Tourists wandering around the CN tower could play with their wifi there.

Personally, I don't care so much about wifi downtown. I'd prefer wifi on the subway; I spend 40 minutes a day just sitting quietly.

Not that it's very likely; the TTC won't even give me cell phone service on the subway, and they've got the hardware in place for that. The TTC thinks it should be able to charge the telcos for using their network, the telcos think they should get it for free, 911 actually works on the subway system, but no one will ever call it because everyone thinks they have no cell service underground... it's a mess of politics.

Still, putting wifi where people would *use* it would be. But, oh, well... I guess it's a start.

3 days of service = 1 month? (1)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 7 years ago | (#16059733)

So if I buy 3 days of service, or 6 discontiguous hours of service, I could've just as easily bought the entire month? Just give out the monthly fee, and use the savings of managing those other plans to offer it cheaper!

I've tried the service (1)

ddurdle (803709) | more than 7 years ago | (#16059757)

I tried the One Zone service yesterday from Queens and University. I didn't need to authenticate (didn't have to create a user account or provide my cell phone number). I just connected as you would to any free unsecure hot spot.

"largest" in north america? (2, Informative)

kbaud (1001076) | more than 7 years ago | (#16059828)

Maybe the reporter hasn't done much research on wifi. There are several municipal networks in north america that are much larger than 6 square km. Maybe they meant the program was larger in some other aspect?

Google brought up a Business Week article with the top 10 city networks. Some are over 100 sq miles in size:

http://images.businessweek.com/ss/06/08/muni_wifi/ index_01.htm [businessweek.com]

Who Writes These Titles? (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 7 years ago | (#16059842)

The service will be free for 6 months and then will cost $29 (Canadian) per month

I'd hardly call that free.

New Toronto slogan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16059913)

Come to Toronto, where the healthcare system is... ooh, umm, no nevermind...
Come to Toronto, where the beer is-- yeesh, hmmm...
Hey, we have free internet! Yay!!!

It's not free (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16059961)

If it's not free in "free speech", then it is free in "free cake".
If the first bite of the cake is free, and you have to pay for the rest, then it is not free.

Misleading headine: This network isn't free. (1)

windowpain (211052) | more than 7 years ago | (#16060008)

It's going to cost $29 a month. Like a lot of services they'll offer a free trial, in this case for six months.

Saying this network is free is like saying that Crest toothpaste is free because Procter and Gamble mailed you a free sample--or saying that cars are free because the salesperson offers you a free test drive.

Why would I have cell phone (1)

refriedchicken (961967) | more than 7 years ago | (#16060057)

With this WiFi coverage I wouldn't a cell phone. I rarely travel that far from my house and would just carry my cordless IP phone with me...
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