Nanaimo Harbour ferry terminal. (News Bulletin file)

Nanaimo Harbour ferry terminal. (News Bulletin file)

Free Wi-Fi coming to terminals on Gabriola-Nanaimo ferry route

Province directing $1.5 million for wireless internet service at 14 small B.C. Ferries terminals

Passengers waiting to travel to and from Nanaimo harbour and Descanso Bay on Gabriola Island will now have access to wireless internet, says the B.C. government.

According to a press release, the ferry terminals are among 14 having new Wi-Fi service added, as the B.C. Ministry of Citizens’ Services is directing $1.5 million to cover the cost of bringing a wireless network to the province’s smaller terminals. It will allow people in public lounges, vehicle lineups and parking lots, where possible, to access the internet, the press release said.

“The addition of free Wi-Fi for B.C. Ferries customers at some of the smaller, more remote terminals is important for those who might not otherwise have cell service,” said Rob Fleming, minister of transportation and infrastructure. “It gives travellers an opportunity to connect before their voyage and brings this Wi-Fi service in line with what people receive at many of the larger terminals along the coast.”

Sheila Malcolmson, Nanaimo MLA and Gabriola Island resident, said in a separate press release that adding Wi-Fi to more small ferry terminals responds to community demand.

“Keeping connected with loved ones is more important than ever, and I’m glad local travellers will benefit from this new investment in people.” she said.

In addition to the Nanaimo area terminals, Wi-Fi will also be coming to east Denman Island, Buckley Bay, Heriot Bay, Whaletown, Alert Bay, Vesuvius Bay, Sturdies Bay, Bella Bella, Port Hardy, Long Harbour, Otter Bay and Lyall Harbour.

Wi-Fi service is expected to be fully operational at all terminals by the end of October.

READ ALSO: B.C. Ferries now taking online bookings for foot passengers

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