BC Ferries adds Wi-Fi service at 14 ferry terminals including Salt Spring, Nanaimo

BC Ferries adds Wi-Fi service at 14 ferry terminals including Salt Spring, Nanaimo
The Long Harbour BC Ferries terminal on Salt Spring Island is shown in this undated Google Street View image.

BC Ferries says work is complete on the installation of free Wi-Fi service at a number of ferry terminals on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands.

The project was made possible through a $1.5-million grant from the Ministry of Citizens Services’ Connecting British Columbia program, which aims to keep smaller coastal communities connected.

It brings the total number of terminals with free Wi-Fi to 21. The 14 terminals that had Wi-Fi recently added include:

  • Cormorant Island (Alert Bay)
  • Cortes Island (Whaletown)
  • Denman Island East (Gravelly Bay)
  • Gabriola Island (Descanso Bay)
  • Galiano Island (Sturdies Bay)
  • Mayne Island (Village Bay)
  • Nanaimo (Nanaimo Harbour)
  • Pender Island (Otter Bay)
  • Port Hardy (Bear Cove)
  • Quadra Island (Heriot Bay)
  • Salt Spring Island (Long Harbour)
  • Salt Spring Island (Vesuvius Bay)
  • Saturna Island (Lyall Harbour)
  • Vancouver Island (Buckley Bay)

“The access to free Wi-Fi allows people travelling the ability to connect for work, leisure or general trip information while waiting for their ferry or upon arriving at their destination,” BC Ferries said in a statement.

However the company is warning Wi-Fi users that it will never ask for credit card details or personal information in order to use the networks.

“Consider any unlocked Wi-Fi network claiming to be “bcferries” and asking for credit card or personal information to be malicious. Report any suspicious networks to a BC Ferries’ terminal attendant or the Chief Steward’s Office,” it said.

However, BC Ferries still doesn’t seem to be planning to re-add internet access to its fleet of vessels after removing the service last year.

The company says in order to do that, it would need to upgrade and certify new wireless network radios that would result in a high cost, one it would need to pass on to customers.

It says that when it introduced onboard Wi-Fi in 2010, about 40 to 50 people where accessing it, whereas over 900 people were using it per trip last year before it was shut down.

Jeff LawrenceJeff Lawrence

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