Skip to main content

You can now check out free Wi-Fi for your home from some Toronto libraries

google toronto wifi screen shot 2016 06 18 at 7 20 37 pm
Accessibility has always been part of public libraries’ DNA, and now, Toronto institutions are taking that principle one step further. Thanks to a new partnership with Google, you’ll be able to check out more than the latest on the New York Times’ bestseller list. You’ll also be able to take home some free Wi-Fi. The Silicon Valley-based tech giant is teaming up with the city to give Canadians temporary (or rather, six-month) access to portable Wi-Fi hot spots. On Wednesday, six branches of the Toronto public library, all of which are located in low-income neighborhoods, began to offer the service.

At a news conference addressing the new program, Mayor John Tory told media members that internet access could be a major factor to helping break the cycle of poverty. “This is one small way of seeing what kind of contribution the library system can make to bridge the digital divide, knowing there is much more that has to be done to truly bridge that divide,” he said.

Related Videos

As per a recent survey conducted by the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission, 11 percent of Canadians cannot access the internet at home, and moreover, that 75 percent of citizens are dissatisfied with the price they have to pay for the service.

“Google hopes to give some of the most underserved in our city a way to bridge the tech divide,” the tech firm said in a press release of its own.

The program closely resembles similar initiatives in the United States, like those in Chicago and New York City which offer some city residents lendable Wi-Fi on an unlimited data plan. But Toronto’s Wi-Fi hot spots will be capped at 10 gigabytes. “At this point, the wireless providers we spoke to weren’t willing to offer any more (data) to us, but we’re hoping we can advocate for more and continue talks with them,” said Michelle Leung, a library spokesperson.

Editors' Recommendations

You can finally move your WhatsApp chats from Android to iOS
WhatsApp and Telegram app icons.

Moving WhatsApp chats from Android to iOS has been a painful task for years. But not anymore, as Apple and WhatsApp have made the process a whole lot easier. Starting today, Apple is adding a feature that allows you to move chats between the two platforms. The feature is a part of Apple’s existing “Move to iOS” Android application. It’s worth noting that the feature is currently available for beta users only, so non-beta users might have to wait for a week or two as it's rolled out in phases.

This is a big move since 2 million people use WhatsApp and, until now, there wasn’t an official method to move conversations between Android and iOS. There have been third-party solutions here and there, but nothing officially backed by Apple or WhatsApp. With the feature becoming available, users will be able to move their chats swiftly from Android to iOS.

Read more
An Icelandic horse can now write your out-of-office emails
A horse writing an email using a giant keyboard.

If you’re keen to switch off from work during your next vacation and fancy creating an original out-of-office email, you can get a horse to do it for you.

An Icelandic horse writing an email using a giant keyboard. Visit Iceland

Read more
Wi-Fi 7 will bring 33 Gbps speeds to your home in 2023
home office

The next evolution of home connectivity, Wi-Fi 7, is coming soon. Qualcomm executives have announced expectations to see whole-home mesh networks and Wi-Fi 7 routers as early as next year.

With Wi-Fi 7, Qualcomm anticipates wireless speeds to reach up to 33 Gbps. And when compared to Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E, the next evolution of Wi-Fi will bring significantly wider channels that will help connect more devices, lower latency, and bring even faster speeds.

Read more