News Release - July 26, 2007
SASKATCHEWAN! CONNECTED WIRELESS SERVICE AVAILABLE IN SASKATOON
Residents and visitors to Saskatoon's Downtown and Broadway business districts can now access the Internet free-of-charge using the Saskatchewan! Connected wireless network. Minister responsible for Information Technology Frank Quennell made the announcement today in Saskatoon.
The Saskatchewan! Connected initiative offers users basic Internet service via a wireless Wi-Fi based network operated by the government Information Technology Office. The system was designed and deployed by SaskTel using technology manufactured by manufactured by Cisco, a worldwide leader in networking.
The service will also be integrated into the existing wireless services available to students at the University of Saskatchewan and Kelsey campus of SIAST in Saskatoon.
"Saskatchewan! Connected is one of the many innovative ideas coming out of this year's Youth Summit in Saskatoon," Quennell said. "Free wireless Internet access was clearly identified as one of the tangible initiatives that would ensure our communities remain invigorating places where young people want to work, live and build strong futures."
Saskatchewan! Connected means users will no longer have to switch from service to service as they roam around the coverage area. Any existing desktop or laptop computer can be configured with a Wi-Fi adaptor for under $100 and then connected quickly and conveniently to the free service.
As a publicly-accessible network, special provisions have been made to prevent access to inappropriate materials.
"As the largest free wireless network in Canada, Saskatchewan! Connected is another in a long list of 'firsts' that has made Saskatchewan a leader in innovation and technology advancement," Quennell said. "The service will help our businesses attract and retain customers, while also benefiting business people visiting our province, youth and others."
The service is also available in select business districts of Moose Jaw, Prince Albert and Regina.
The initiative adds to Saskatchewan's already extensive information technology infrastructure. Eighty-six per cent of the province's population has access to high-speed service through the CommunityNet public broadband network and SaskTel's commercial network services.
The capital cost of installing the network in the four centres will be $1.3 million, with annual operating costs of $339,000.
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