Montreal plans to become a Smart City with free WiFi and open data


  • danbob999

    Will it be free WiFi, or must-click-a-button-in-the-browser-crappy-WiFi?

    • Ridge

      Yeah I see your point, but I really doubt it. That would defeat the purpose completely. At that point I’d just stick to my LTE which will probably be faster anyways.

    • vn33

      I don’t like the “click-a-button” option either, but seeing it is free, I’ll take the “beggars can’t be choosers” approach 🙂

    • danbob999

      The problem is these click WiFi networks is that there is no way to filter them out. They appear like open WiFi networks but they aren’t.

    • MassDeduction

      Recent versions of Windows Phone have the ability to auto-accept the terms and conditions for you in most cases now, so they’re as good as an open WiFi network network for me. 🙂

    • danbob999

      It still add time to the connection.
      WiFi has authentification built-in. There is no reason to use web browser for that.

    • Davan Mills

      It’s the latter kind, but it can be plenty fast. At the library, the speed beats my home internet. On the street, 10 Mbps and no data cap isn’t anything to sneeze at.

    • MassDeduction

      Shaw Go WiFi (complementary WiFi in public places for Shaw Cable’s home internet customers) allows you to accept the terms and conditions and then “Remember” the device so that it will auto-sign-on in the future (at any Shaw Go WiFi location).

      Shaw also has 60K free WiFi hotspots across Western Canada now. So 750 in one city is cool and all, but not as impressive as it could be for a city the size of Montreal. But it’s a start. 🙂

    • rick

      You don’t even have to accept the terms on each device. You can pre-register your devices MAC addresses online.

  • TomsDisqusted

    Sounds great, maybe for $230 million, but if they really expect to do this for $23m then that is a joke.

    • Davan Mills

      While I haven’t seen Montreal overrun a budget by ten times, two to four times is the norm.

    • Adam

      The orange line extension was budgeted for $143 million, and actually cost $757 million. So, a little over 5x. Still not 10x, but that’s a lot of extra money.

    • Benny X

      it’s a pretty well known rule that government-involved projects will always cost ridiculously more than estimated. In the ‘developed world’ our governments (at every level) are merely more skilled at hiding corruption than ones in the developing worlds.

  • Maurice Moss

    Thing is, a while back, we we’re promised free wi-fi with Ile Sans Fil. Then I tried it once and it asked me to pay a subscription. So, I really hope this turns out to be true, but I’ll believe it when I see it.

    • Mo Dabbas

      If a low subscription is offered (5 CAD a month or so), I can see a lot of students who love downtown benefiting from it since many students can’t afford paying for data plans.

    • Maurice Moss

      That’s very true. Maybe that’s why ile sans file became payable. One way or another, it’s would be nice to have wi-fi everywhere.

    • Davan Mills

      Ile Sans Fil has been free for me. It is a hotspot, so I just have to click a Je me connecte button, and it goes. Depending on which hotspot you’re on, speeds can be very very fast. I’ve experienced 50 Mbps down and up speeds on the service at a new library, but maybe 10 Mbps on the street.

    • Maurice Moss

      Oh, didn’t know that. When I tried connecting to it in the eaton center, it asked me for a subscription and redirected me to a purchasing page. To be fair, that was a lots of years ago.

      Or maybe that’s what Bell is saying when they say you have access to all their hotspots free? Maybe other carriers have to pay?

      Regardless, with these speeds, I’ll make sure to try it again when I’m downtown.

  • Tony

    More ways for the government to collect your data via a farce of free Interwebs.

    • Maurice Moss

      Yeah that. I mean, it’s not like Robellus would do it on their lte network already right?

    • Tony

      Of course not. They are champions of the consumers! /s

  • *Starts making plans to move to Montreal*

    • Davan Mills

      If you’re a fan of good nightlife, cheap housing, high taxes, amazing public transport, zillions of potholes, excellent consumer protection, and countless red tape and delays, by all means come!

    • Sounds just like Toronto with cheap housing lol I really have to think about this now.

    • Davan Mills

      Oh, forgot to mention. People speak French.

    • Tim M

      there’s always gotta be a catch!

    • In addition to speaking French, they dislike people who can’t speak it. Even if you can speak French they’ll give you the stink-eye if you speak English.

    • Labrat

      Your thinking of Quebec City 😉

      Certainly not true downtown Montreal, definitely saw this in some neighbourhoods…

    • danbob999

      What a misinformed comment.

    • danbob999

      Another stupid, hateful comment.

    • How is it a “stupid, hateful comment” if I’m simply recounting what personally happens to me when I visit the city? Go to order some food in French, the server’s polite, smiling, has a nice attitude, but as soon as I start speaking English the smile turns into a scowl and they start slamming down anything they bring to the table. That’s not a “stupid, hateful comment”, that’s rude people.

    • BioFanatic

      Based on your constant negativity on this site, I’m guessing their “rudeness” towards you has nothing to do with the language you speak and everything to do with you being difficult and combatative.

    • Not at all. It was a single-topic conversation the whole time, the server chipped in with a joke at one point, but once we made the switch to English all hell broke loose.

      At one point we decided to test it in different places: It doesn’t happen everywhere but English just seems to set some people off, regardless of any other circumstance or context.

    • BioFanatic

      I go to Montreal for a week almost every year. I’ve never had problems. In Montreal, half the city speaks English as a first language.
      I’m sorry to hear that you had issues, but that’s definitely not the norm.

    • danbob999

      Half of the city doesn’t speak English as a first language. It’s only 13.2%.

    • I know it’s not the norm, thankfully. Most people were pretty friendly, but like anywhere else there’s some less-than-friendly people too.

    • Benny X

      it kind of makes you wonder what the waiter is doing to your food behind your back….

    • danbob999

      Because anybody who have stepped into Montreal, or Quebec as a whole, now this is just plain false.

    • So you’re telling me that my server wasn’t rude, wasn’t slamming things on the table? You can’t tell me it’s false when it actually happened. That doesn’t represent everyone in the city, and I never said it did, but it’s something that happened, and it’s something I’ve seen happen more than once.

    • Adam

      Oddly enough I was talking to someone who was planning a trip to Montreal soon, and was told this very thing today. I’m going to say it absolutely does happen.

    • danbob999

      I am telling you that you are an ignorant if you think this is representative of the city or the province as a whole. Also you don’t know if English is the reason why the server acted like this. And finally, nobody here knows that you aren’t making up this story.

    • I never said it was representative of the city or the province, YOU made that assumption. Davan mentioned “people” speak French, which could be anywhere from 2 people to almost everyone, and I continued the thought that “people” (a non-specific number) don’t like English speakers. When questioned about it I told you about a bad experience I had and you’ve been just as rude as that server, if not worse. You’re not making my impression of that person (or you) any better by painting me as a villain when I was the one being wronged.

      Considering the server was enjoying the conversation and even chipped in while we were speaking French but then became rude the moment we switched to English, despite continuing the same conversation, I’m pretty sure it was the language switch that triggered the attitude.

      I went there during Fierté/Pride 2012. It was amazing. But that server needs to remain professional at work, no matter what language customers speak. I kind of wonder if it would have happened with other languages, like Spanish or Cantonese, or if that server just had a problem with English speakers.

    • danbob999

      Read again. You were clearly refering to Quebecers as a whole when you said “they” don’t like English. Certainly not to a single waiter.

    • Again, I wasn’t referring to anyone specific. You’re making false assumptions. Repeat those false assumptions all you want, it won’t make them true.

    • Benny X

      think of it as your waiter saving you money. You won’t need to leave a tip at the end of dinner, because the service didn’t earn it.

    • brent

      Brad have you ever actually been to Montreal? I’ve only been there twice but never had a problem with anyone treating me like a second class citizen because I do not speak french. The moment they say bonjour, I say hello and then they start speaking english to me right away without any dirty looks or anything else.. I heard Quebec city is like that but I’ve never actually been there so I don’t know first hand.

    • Yeah, I’ve been there a few times. It’s great during Fierté/Pride. Like I mentioned in other parts of these comments: It’s not everyone, just some people.

    • danbob999

      That why you first said “they don’t like English”. If some people don’t like English it’s probably because of people like you.

    • “Because of people like you”. They’re rude to me for speaking English because of people who don’t like being treated rudely for speaking English? Wow, that’s some amazing circular logic you’ve got going on there.

    • danbob999

      How do I know they were rude? And who’s “they”? You only make a case out of a single waiter.
      You are making generalization on a city/province out of a single experience. Most people don’t like people who do that. So I perfectly understand why people are rude with you.

    • I’m referring to the server with the non-gender-specific pronoun “they” so that nobody reading my comments makes any sort of sexism judgements against the server. Since you’re already viciously attacking me based on the server’s language preference I figure I might as well not get you upset about the server’s sex, too, lest you make even more false assumptions.

      Like I explained multiple times, I made no generalizations of any specific people, you’re the one making false assumptions. The only thing I did was switch languages and a server who apparently doesn’t like English people started mistreating me, and here you are victim-blaming me. You’re so classy.

    • danbob999

      Oh yeah, it’s easy to say afterwards. But anyone who reads your hateful message again will have my interpretation:

      “In addition to speaking French, they dislike people who can’t speak it.
      Even if you can speak French they’ll give you the stink-eye if you speak

      You weren’t even speaking about a server or anyone specific. You were replying to Davan Mills who said “people speak French”. So obviously when you say “they dislike English” you refer to these people. Just admit it. You were generalizing. The best you can do now is apologize and try to have an open mind in the future.

    • “You weren’t even speaking about […] anyone specific.” “So obviously […] you refer to these people.”

      I’m not referring to anyone specific so obviously I’m referring to someone specific? I’m not apologizing for your faulty logic, you’ll have to sort that out on your own. It’s pretty obvious that you’re just reading what you want to read and not what’s actually written.

    • danbob999

      You have the faulty logic. You weren’t referring to any person in particular. “People” isn’t specific.

    • Yesterday you said “You were clearly refering to Quebecers as a whole” but now you’re saying “You weren’t referring to any person in particular.” You can’t even make up your own mind. Meanwhile I’ve been saying the exact same thing this whole time. Whatever problems you have are all in your head and have nothing to do with what I wrote. Grow up.

    • charles9999

      Just because you perceive a contradiction with your flawed logic doesn’t mean there is one. Quebecers as a whole is not any person in particular. There is nothing wrong in my comment. Stop nitpicking and just admit you are wrong since the beginning.

    • Hello Pot, meet Kettle.

    • charles9999

      The only other user who replied to your comment, Labrat, also understood your comment just like I did.

    • Two wrongs don’t make a right.

    • charles9999

      Yeah, everybody is wrong but you. You write something stupid, everybody interprets it as such, but you are trying to make us believe you meant something else. Yeah right.

    • 2 people is “everybody”? Small world. Must be the imaginary one in your head.

    • charles9999

      Like I said. Ask anyone else to read Davan’s comment and then yours. And then ask who “they” logically refers to.

    • Benny X

      you forgot crumbling infrastructure!

  • MOUE

    For those who are with Wind and are travelling to Montreal, this is great.

  • deltatux

    Love the idea, but would advise people to deploy VPNs, public WiFis are not encrypted, anyone will be able to snoop your traffic.

  • I read somewhere that the Bixi bike-sharing stations are all within wi-fi range of each other. It would interesting to leverage those – except they’re taken down in the winter. Then again, in the winter no one wants to take their phone out of their pocket and tap through to connect to the access point so it could work! 🙂

    • Jean B.

      Even if that was true, there is no way in hell these Bixi WiFi’s can support the loads of public usage.

  • Tim M

    I give it a few hours before someone starts abusing it.

  • gmd

    With more reasons making it to the “why you shouldn’t use public wifi” list all the time, I wonder…

  • fruvous

    I hope they have better luck than Toronto’s One Zone experiment. Sold to Cogeco and then quietly decommissioned.

  • Peter

    I wonder if the crazies who are against the Hydro Quebec smart meters will also be against this city wide WiFi. lol

    • danbob999

      Nah. They all use WiFi and cellphones. It wouldn’t be their first contradiction.

    • gmd

      Do you know how much power those meters are using? They are supposed to generate information once, but given each one relays the information of the whole neighbourhood (from one house to another in a chain), that’s one powerfull wifi box you have glued to your house…

  • Anon-e-mouse

    LOL, no need for people to subscribe to internet in the city when they can get free wifi signals in their apartments.

  • honesty

    @edmonton take notes


    Watch as costs balloon to 500m with no project being finished. When should we expect a tax return hike?

  • Luke

    Yay, broken English article. Seriously mobilesyrup… Could you maybe hire at least one editor, please?

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