Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Free WiFi in Downtown Toronto

If you have been in Downtown Toronto scanning for WiFi signals, you may have encountered the SSID "One Zone_High Speed Internet". Officially launched today, this is Toronto Hydro Telecom’s wireless Internet access zone known as the 'One Zone™ Wireless network'. Using 802.11g standard technology One Zone™ users are able to access email, connect to their office remotely or simply surf the web from any location within the zone – offering customers completely untethered access to Canada’s largest hot zone.

The wireless network in the downtown Toronto area will be built up in 5 phases. Phase 1, bounded by Front Street and Queen Street; Spadina Avenue and Church Street, is currently up and running. The next four phases and their respective coverage boundaries can be seen in the coverage map below. All five phases to be up and running for operation by the end of 2006.

One Zone™ will be free to all users from September 6, 2006 until March 6, 2007. After that time, three different subscription packages will be offered:

  • A pre-paid monthly subscription priced at $29per month
  • A daily subscription including 24 consecutive hours of use priced at $10
  • An hourly subscription at $5

Using the One Zone™ WiFi network is simple. First you need to be located within the perimeter of the One Zone™ network. Next you will require a WiFi enabled device along with a cell phone with text messaging capabilities. From there simply follow the steps below and get ready to visit your favourite website, check your email or even access your office remotely online

  1. Open your WiFi enabled device
  2. Use the network connections manager on your WiFi enabled device to view available wireless networks.
  3. Select the SSID One Zone_High Speed Internet
  4. Open your web browser and visit the new user page.
  5. Enter your mobile phone number in the space provided.
  6. Within minutes you will receive a text message containing your username and password.
  7. Enter your username and password.
  8. Start surfing.

Once you have your username and password, it is valid for the whole duration of the 6 month trial. After the six-month trial period users will be required to subscribe to the service.

For more information about One Zone™ , visit the One Zone™ website.

If you're ever in downtown Toronto, and you need WiFi access, give this new system a try.


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3 comments:

Joe said...

So what do you do if you don't have a cellphone with text messaging? Or, was I truly a dinosaur by only joining in on the fun last September? Maybe I'm just too country (assuming Barrie is country) to understand.

Jason said...

It would appear that you are out of luck without a cell phone. I'd wager that most people with laptops would also have cell phones, so this is the easiest way to pass over a set of credentials to you NOT over their own network (as that would be a security risk in upon itself).

I'd bet that later on, they will have other methods to set up a user account.

Anonymous said...

This wireless network mesh was a great chance for the City to provide free broadband internet to those that could not otherwise afford it. All they would have needed was a WiFi enabled computer, and they could access the internet.

Instead, we now have Toronto Hydro Telecom profitting from this. Any chance of social benefit from this wireless network mesh has now been superceded by profit-seeking companies.

But I guess it is easy to forget about the less fortunate.