Shaw opens WiFi hotspots up to the public for free in response to COVID-19 pandemic

Calgary-based Shaw Communications announced Saturday that it will open up its more than 100,000 WiFi hotspots across Canada to the public to help people stay connected during the coronavirus pandemic.

"Shaw customer or not, we know that it is important to stay connected, especially in times like this," the company said in a release. "This access will be especially important in helping emergency services and first responders stay connected as they remain steadfast in supporting our communities."

The company also gave its TV customers access to free channels, including news and children's TV to help families stay informed and entertained if they are self-isolating or quarantined.

Rogers removed data caps for customers until the end of May, and Telus, Bell and TekSavvy said they would waive overage charges for customers until April. Shaw said it does not have data caps.

A list of hotspot locations is available on the company's website.

Shaw closes stores

Shaw also announced Sunday, a day after this article was originally published, that it would also be closing all of its Shaw and Freedom Mobile stores across the country, but said employees would be paid for the period they were scheduled to work.

As of Saturday, 39 people in Alberta have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and more than 150,000 people worldwide.