By Gagandeep Ghuman
Published: Dec. 15, 2012
If Davin Peterson has his way, you won’t have to hop from one place to another searching for internet in downtown Squamish.
Peterson’s Whistler-based company, Basewireless is planning to provide free internet service on Cleveland Ave in downtown Squamish within a few months.
Base Technology provides free high speed Internet services in Whistler at several locations, including in the Village, Creekside, and Function Junction.
Peterson hopes to apply the same model to Squamish and Pemberton.
It might take a few months to have service in downtown Squamish.
“The goal is to begin at Cleveland and then expand to other locations,” Peterson said.
The service in Whistler is funded by local business sponsorships.
People logging on to the free service have to wait for 30 seconds, a period of time which is sponsored by local businesses.
Basewireless has been providing high speed internet service for hotels, business and resorts in over a hundred locations in the province, Peterson said.
The access points installed at Whistler were initially a paid service, but the service was not being used by a large number of people to make it sustainable.
“People expect internet for free,” he said.
Making internet free has increased the users, which has helped him attract sponsors.
Peterson said the free internet service was started in March this year, and has been used by 69,000 people in the last six months.
He hopes the same model will work in Squamish.
Basewireless is also working on a partnership with Telus, and is presently looking to rent a building to host equipment.
“We will start with Cleveland, and depending on sponsorships we will keep adding free locations,” he said.
The goal would be to have internet in a dozen locations in Squamish, he added.
Basewireless is also working on providing high speed internet for the upper Squamish Valley.
Inside Edge member Chris Pettingill said free internet would be a step in the right direction for Squamish.
It would be an added draw to visit downtown Squamish, he said.