It has taken Sheldon Forgette much longer than he anticipated, but an idea his company, North Bay Computer Doctors, came up with in the summer of 2015 has finally become reality today.
See related: Free WiFi coming to Downtown North Bay
Forgette, North Bay’s Deputy Mayor and owner of the computer service company, says as of today, wifi service will run from the North Bay Museum on Oak Street all the way up to the Bus Terminal in downtown North Bay.
“Basically they will be able to use WIFI anywhere near the transit station and all the way up to the museum along Oak Street,” Forgette told BayToday.ca Wednesday afternoon.
“The Farmer’s Market will be able to use it, the volleyball courts will be able to use it. They can probably even use it from the Chamber of Commerce on Main and Wyld too.”
Forgette says the project ran into a lot of speed bumps over the past three years and back in March it appeared the concept was close to being dead.
See related: Downtown WiFi project offline
One problem was trying to come to an agreement with North Bay Hydro to use their poles to send the signal. That idea ended up being an extensive one.
“They wanted to charge us a bunch of money to rent the hydro poles and they wanted to charge us for an engineer to make drawings on what the antennae would look like on the pole,” said Forgette.
Due to that cost, Forgette says he decided to go another direction and put the Wifi technology on some downtown buildings instead. That concept had to get approved by North Bay CAO Keith Robicheau.
“We kind of shifted gears and to getting the system running using the Discovery Museum and the Bus Terminal,” said Forgette.
Forgette says once they got the approval it took less than two days for his company to install the equipment and test the signal which he says carries a Wifi signal strength of 30 MB down and 15 MB up.
The cost of the project was $10,000 and it can be accessed under the title “wifi park” in that area along Oak Street.
Forgette says they will monitor the signal over the summer and perhaps look at expanding it by putting antennas up on other downtown buildings.
He says the service also does not include any free advertising as users will not be driven to a North Bay Computer Doctors page once the log onto the system.