Capital Commission adds free wi-fi “hotspots” to core Ottawa attractions

Ellen Rocco just wrote about small, off-beat museums and points of interest. Here’s a snippet of news from one of the bigger players on the visitor scene.

The National Capital Commission is the agency charged with managing places and events that dominate the visitor experience in Ottawa: Winterlude, Canada Day and other public events on Parliament Hill. (Wikipedia lists other areas of NCC responsibility as “Gatineau Park, the Capital Pathway and official residences such as Rideau Hall24 Sussex Drive and Stornoway.”)

As per this recent NCC press release:

This summer, visitors to the Capital Region will experience new ways of connecting and discovering the many Capital sites and landmarks. Over the past two years, the National Capital Commission (NCC) has modernized its approach to visitor services by providing service where visitors are and maximizing the use of new technologies.

“The Capital Region welcomes more than ten million visitors each year and they are looking for information by various means, including the Internet and smart phones,” said Daniel Feeny, Director, marketing and partnerships at the NCC. “The Capital Wi-Fi service and the new Interactive Touch Screen units are part of our innovative approach that uses technology to enhance the visitor’s experience.”

Here’s more info about the free wi-fi hot spots, for visitors or residents.

Is free wi-fi and more ‘hot spots” a big deal, or just a frill? I don’t know, but many of us will live to find out!

U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke recently gave a commencement address that lauded the potential of the Information Technology revolution:

“…historians of science have commented on our collective tendency to overestimate the short-term effects of new technologies while underestimating their longer-term potential”

More tech access at Ottawa tourist destinations may be mere baby steps. And I have my own personal rants about where this all could head – if, for example, a few private giants (like Facebook or Google) become default components of public sector interfaces.

But things like that are a part of real shifts in how we live, work and play.

Meanwhile, Ottawa and the NCC hope you’ll come visit and check the new features out.

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