You may have seen an article last week in a Toronto publication boldly claiming that Wi-Fi is coming to TTC subway tunnels next year.
It did really well. It got people excited.
The only problem is that it’s not exactly true. At no point has the TTC confirmed that they’re doing anything more than looking into the possibility.
Speaking with TTC spokesperson Milly Bernal, Daily Hive has learned quite simply that the TTC is “looking into it, but it’s not confirmed and we don’t have a date for it.”
In fact, the original agreement between BAI Canada and the TTC didn’t include Wi-Fi service in the tunnels at all. This would be a new project entirely, hence the “we’re looking into it.” Bernal does admit that it’s “definitely possible that it could be installed,” but again, this is not something that has actually be given the green light by the TTC, nor is there an accurate time frame for how long it would take to install.
What is happening however, is the introduction of cell phone service throughout the TTC. Currently, Bernal confirms this option is already being tested between Wellesley and Queen and will enjoy a 2017 rollout across all subway routes. Only Freedom Mobile (formerly WIND) is signed up with BAI Canada but the service is now open to all service providers and they can sign up to have their cell service available for their customers on the TTC. (You listening Bell, Rogers, and Telus?)
According to Bernal, the difference between having cell phone service throughout the TTC tunnels and Wi-Fi is that BAI needs to install infrastructure throughout the tunnels to make cell phone service happen (something they’re already working on). However, to ensure Wi-Fi throughout the tunnels every single train must be updated. There’s a large difference in the scale between these two projects.
So while you might not be able to stream movies while rumbling through subway tunnels anytime soon, you will be able to make calls.
Which is probably something the aforementioned publication should have done before getting our hopes up over a single misunderstood tweet…