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The Province and BC Ferries partnership project to install Wi-Fi service to 14 additional ferry terminals as part of the Connecting British Columbia program was completed on July 28th, 2022. This brings the total number of terminals with free Wi-Fi access to 21.

The project is part of the $1.5 million grant fund given through the Ministry of Citizens Services’ Connecting British Columbian program, which is in place to keep British Columbians connected in those smaller coastal communities. The access to free Wi-Fi allows people travelling the ability to connect for work, leisure or general trip information while waiting for their ferry or upon arriving at their destination.

Wi-Fi phishing

BC Ferries does not ask for credit card details or personal information to use Wi-Fi networks at terminals or on board vessels. Consider any unlocked Wi-Fi network claiming to be “bcferries” and asking for credit card or personal information to be malicious. Report any suspicious networks to a BC Ferries’ terminal attendant or the Chief Steward’s Office.


Terminals where we recently added free Wi-Fi service

  • Cormorant Island (Alert Bay)
  • Cortes Island (Whaletown)
  • Denman Island East (Gravelly Bay)
  • Gabriola Island (Descanso Bay)
  • Galiano Island (Sturdies Bay)
  • Mayne Island (Village Bay)
  • Nanaimo (Nanaimo Harbour)
  • Pender Island (Otter Bay)
  • Port Hardy (Bear Cove)
  • Quadra Island (Heriot Bay)
  • Salt Spring Island (Long Harbour)
  • Salt Spring Island (Vesuvius Bay)
  • Saturna Island (Lyall Harbour)
  • Vancouver Island (Buckley Bay)

The coverage of Wi-Fi within BC Ferries’ terminals, includes public lounges, vehicle holding compounds and where practical, parking lots.

Reliable, high-speed Internet service at terminals helps you better access online ferry service information and the internet for personal use.

Frequently asked questions

Will BC Ferries expand Wi-Fi to the remaining terminals?

The Province of British Columbia and BC Ferries are working toward extending free Wi-Fi to more terminals in the near future.

Why did BC Ferries remove Wi-Fi on board?

The existing Wi-Fi service runs on a ship-to-shore network using wireless network radios which we would need to upgrade and certify under newer, stricter Radio Frequency (RF) regulations. These newer radio devices have a large reduction in the amount of power we can apply to its network radios, which would further reduce the reliability and quality of on board Wi-Fi.

Installing the new devices also has a high cost, and we would need to pass these costs on to our customers.

Why can’t BC Ferries use satellite or cellular technology to provide Wi-Fi?

Satellite and cellular connectivity provide far less bandwidth and the cost is significant to provide a reliable customer experience.

Customers on a BC Ferries vessel can still connect to the Internet using their mobile cellular data, when available.

Why can't BC Ferries continue to offer Wi-Fi in its current form?

Since its introduction in 2010, the number of passengers on a ferry accessing Wi-Fi has gone from about 40-50 users to over 900 users, resulting in connectivity issues. Under new radio standards, we will not be able to cover the same distances as we do today.

To provide a reliable service requires new technology solutions at a very high cost which would need to be passed on to our customers.

How can other transportation companies provide Wi-Fi?

Airlines connect via satellite or ground-based cellular and some charge customers for this service. This will not support the 900 users we see on our largest ferries. Cruise ships also use satellite which is easily accessible closer to the equator.

The satellites available at our high northern latitudes are limited and would still not provide an adequate service for the number of users, and would be very costly.

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