Free Wi-Fi will soon be available to ferry passengers at smaller terminals across Vancouver Island.

BC Ferries is getting up to $1.5 million in grant funding through the Ministry of Citizens’ Services’ Connecting British Columbia program, to provide 14 terminals with Wi-Fi. 

BC Ferries currently provides free Wi-Fi at seven terminals: Swartz Bay, Tsawwassen, Departure Bay, Horseshoe Bay, Duke Point, Langdale and Saltery Bay. 

This was first introduced between 2010 and 2012.

While there are 47 terminals around the province, this project will bring the total number with Wi-Fi access to 21.

Wi-Fi will be made available at terminals on east Denman Island, Buckley Bay, Heriot Bay, Whaletown, Descanso Bay, Alert Bay, Vesuvius Bay, Sturdies Bay, Bella Bella, Port Hardy, Long Harbour, Otter Bay, Lyall Harbour and Nanaimo Harbour.

NDP MLA for North Island Michele Babchuk said connectivity is a challenge for locals and visitors in many places across our region. 

“With these upgrades at the terminals, people will be able to stay connected with loved ones, businesses won’t have to worry about missing an important moment, and visitors will be able to decide on their next destination all before boarding the ferry,” Babchuk added.

The Connecting British Columbia Program helps connect rural, remote, and Indigenous communities with high-speed internet access by funding required infrastructure, administered by the Northern Development Initiative Trust.

These minor route terminals will get Wi-Fi coverage in multiple locations, including public lounges, vehicle line-up areas and where possible, parking lots.

The work to install and activate Wi-Fi at all 14 new terminals is expected to be completed by Oct. 31st.