Downtown Sarnia (BlackburnNews.com file photo)

Free WiFi in downtown Sarnia

Sarnia residents will soon be able to roam the city’s downtown while staying connected to a free WiFi signal.

A wireless router is being installed at the Plexus Inkspot store at 234 Front St. N., which will create a roughly 500-foot radius of free internet.

Sarnia’s Corporate Manager of Information Technology Mark Dillon said it’s their first pilot location and they’re hoping to add roughly 10 more in 2019.

He said there are two major benefits to this phase of the project.

“The first one is having free WiFi downtown, but the second is that it will give us the ability to learn how the citizens of Sarnia would like to consume free open-access connectivity,” said Dillon. “From that, we can take those lessons and bring them to other locations like parks and arenas.”

Dillon says within the scope of this pilot project, there will be additional installations at one or two buses and shelters.

“Some municipalities have gone and maybe put in 10, 20, 30 installations all at once,” he said. “But the goal of this pilot is to provide connectivity in a limited scope of downtown, like a living lab so we can avoid making mistakes on a larger scale as we build it out.”

The city approved a $15,000 feasibility study last year for the project. Sarnia first started considering the idea of free WiFi back in 2017.