Free access should mean equal access to everyone

Times-Herald Staff
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Everyone’s definition of fair is slightly different. It is also impossible to please everyone.

However, when it comes to providing free wireless Internet access to consumers in the city at community locations, the best way to define fair is to give everyone equal access.

Don’t be mistaken. Shaw providing free Wi-Fi in its Shaw Go Wi-Fi network to various locations in the City of Moose Jaw is a great initiative provided there is no interference with the city’s Wi-Fi network of course. Wi-Fi is increasingly utilized, especially since smart phones have Internet access.

It provides people with the capability to go online at any time in any place and, while on the go, change a Facebook status, tweet about sports game updates or load photos on Instagram or some other social media.

But in this particular scenario, the free Wi-Fi is most beneficial to anyone who is a Shaw customer. Guest users, including people who have Internet with other providers such as SaskTel or Telus, are limited to three sessions per month on Shaw’s free service. That isn’t a fair or equal system for something that is free.

Of course, there is a cancellation clause to be in the agreement with Shaw that city administration is negotiating and finalizing.

But at the end of the day, Shaw is a business. Like any business, they are in it to make money and gain new customers. The Wi-Fi system will be a benefit to the community, but non-Shaw customers won’t benefit as much. Still, three sessions a month is better than nothing.

Shaw came to council with the proposal. There are no costs associated with the proposal. Council made a good call in agreeing to this decision and many of us will be able to take advantage of and enjoy it.

It’s too bad non-Shaw customers won’t have unlimited free access like Shaw customers, but after all, it’s just business.

All Times-Herald editorials are written by the editorial staff.

Organizations: SaskTel, Telus

Geographic location: Moose Jaw

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