BC Ferries has eliminated Wi-Fi service on all of its sailings. (Black Press Media file photo)

BC Ferries has eliminated Wi-Fi service on all of its sailings. (Black Press Media file photo)

EDITORIAL: BC Ferries signals surrender over Wi-Fi

When the going gets tough, it’s best to quit and move on to something else. OK, these may not be the words to have inspired a generation but they seem to be the guiding principle for the brain trust at BC Ferries.

Wi-Fi service has been discontinued on BC Ferries sailings because of continued reliability and quality complaints from customers and an inability to upgrade its current delivery method.

ALSO READ: BC Ferries removes Wi-Fi service from sailings

It’s the type of commitment that allowed man to step foot on the Florida Keys. (The moon? You know how far away that is? That would be hard.) It’s the spirit of dedication that drives Olympic athletes to strive for an early exit in preliminary rounds of competition. (Early morning exercise? Come on, I like to sleep in, especially after a night at the bar. And a healthy diet, what about those sugary doughnuts? They’re just so darn delicious.)

On a more serious note, BC Ferries installed land-based radio devices with relatively limited connection to their sea-bound ferries in 2010. Since then, the number of customers in need of an internet connection – and complaints relating to its reliability – has increased annually, BC Ferries said. The service was reportedly available on the Tsawwassen-Swartz Bay, Horseshoe Bay-Departure Bay, and Horseshoe Bay-Langdale routes.

The former provincial Crown corporation, now operating as an independently managed, publicly owned company (ummm, OK) says that stricter radio-frequency regulations necessitate expensive upgrades to the ship-to-shore network system that would ultimately be passed to customers. A cellular connection is also out of the question because “our high northern latitudes are limited and would still not provide an adequate service for the number of users.”

Of course you can get Wi-Fi at 32,000 feet aboard a commercial flight, but the fact appears as lost on BC Ferries as the Wi-Fi signal for disgruntled passengers.

It likely won’t come as welcome news for BC Ferries passengers, but at least it will give you something to talk about during that next three-sailing wait.


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