Toronto to go Wifi?

There were rumblings of this for a while, and now the Toronto Star is saying that the downtown core may see the beginning of the rollout by September!

Canada’s mobile-phone giants will be on alert today as Toronto Hydro Corp. details how it plans to turn the country’s largest municipality into a massive wireless hotspot, similar to ambitious projects already underway in cities such as Philadelphia and San Francisco.

Personally, I think it’s an awesome idea. Right now, we’re being screwed over by the big cellular carriers and their joining together to give us “affordable rates” for their “Hotspot” initiative… if you consider $8 an hour affordable…

Hey, maybe getting a data plan would make sense? Hmmm… let’s see. At 3 cents a kilobyte, to transfer a 5 megabyte song from your home computer to your PDA/phone or laptop through the cellular network would cost $150. That’s NOT a typo. One hundred fifty DOLLARS. Of course, you could go with a monthly plan, such as $5 for 25 MB, or save even more by going with the $100 for 100 MB plan.

If the city can come up with a rate that is in the realm of believability, while enabling those who otherwise can’t afford even WIRED dial up, let alone any semblance of broadband, I say more power to them.