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Thursday, May 12, 2016

Cogeco offers Internet hotspots

The Windsor Star/Mary Caton

A new Cogeco service has Internet hotspots springing up like tulips across the city of Windsor.

The company, now known as Cogeco Connexion, unveiled a network of 215 hotspots throughout the city with another 30 sprinkled across Essex County.

Hotspots are physical locations where someone can access the Internet using Wi-Fi technology.

A year ago, Cogeco started leveraging business clients to establish hotspots in core areas of the city such as Wyandotte Street, Tecumseh Road and University Avenue.

Unfettered access to free Internet is available to all Cogeco high-speed customers. Usage does not impact their personal data cap.

A Cogeco customer can connect to a hotspot by signing in with their account credentials. After signing in once, their device automatically connects to the network when it’s in the vicinity of a hotspot.

Non-customers can log in as a guest and enjoy a limited free trial.

“It’s a big announcement,” said Louise St-Pierre, the president and CEO of Cogeco Connexion. “It’s the second largest instalment in Canada.”

Hamilton is the largest at 302 sites.

St-Pierre was in Windsor Wednesday as part of an ongoing tour of operations across Ontario and Quebec.

In an effort to ramp up the company’s interests in the business sector, Cogeco started offering hotspot opportunities to clients in the restaurant, bar and service industries in 2014.

“We’ll monitor how it works in Windsor, how it’s used,” St-Pierre said. “It’s going to grow. We’ll survey customers and decide should we have a second wave of expansion.”

The Windsor sites include one outdoor location at Lakeview Marina.

St-Pierre has been with the company since 1999. She took over as CEO in 2012 and implemented a five-year strategic plan to update the company’s video platform, increase service speed, expand the business side and build brand recognition.

She said market research shows a Windsor home has on average seven objects connected to the Internet.

That will jump to 20 objects by 2019.

An interactive map of Cogeco hotspots is available at www.cogeco.ca/wifi.

Windsor-Essex

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