Filed under: Feature, TECHNOLOGY, WIRELESS | Tags: Ad-Supported, Debate, Free Wi-Fi, gWiFi, I Love Free WiFi, iPhone, JiWire, Meraki, Platform, Politics, Wired, XO Laptop
PLATFORM FOR PRESIDENT: FREE WI-FI
As provided by Wired, the above map represents free Wi-Fi locations across the United States as they exist today or are under construction. Click on the image above for a closer look.
I have been a huge supporter of free ad-supported Wi-Fi for some time now. After watching debate after democratic nominee debate focused on the war efforts in Iraq and universal health care, I’d love a change of direction.
Providing free municipality-wide Wi-Fi would empower those that need a different perspective and a push in the right direction. The internet allows access to an endless stream of information as well as groups of people with thoughts on just about any topic.
Free Wi-Fi is a service not only facilitating a community of techno-enabled; it’s also a service enabling the underprivileged. The cost of a computer has fallen drastically while the monthly broadband subscription price has remained high, in relation to what low income families can afford. Below is an example of high design meets low cost in the XO laptop created specifically for children in impoverished nations as well as right here at home.
The Beauty of Free Wi-Fi
Everyone benefits. Advertisers benefit from a large audience and targeting abilities previously not available. The public benefits from the free service.
The Red Tape
Government bureaucracy insanity.
Solutions for Now
Below are a few sites that allow users to quickly find neighboring free Wi-Fi access points. Hey Citysearch and Yelp! Could you go ahead and add this feature to your ratings system? Thanks. For more information on the digital divide, click here.
I Love Free WiFi
Great site for offering the more coffee cup experience as opposed to the park/hotel experience.
Wi-Fi locations are a bit sparse but I like the easy interface.
I commend Meraki for offering Wi-Fi on a mesh network rather than through stand alone Wi-Fi access points. This mesh network is cheaper than Google’s original plan to offer city-wide free Wi-Fi. Now the only lingering question will be: Will local advertising revenue support the cost associated with establishing citywide Wi-Fi? Well, San Francisco is a great market to test this out in.
Nice set of locations but I prefer seeing this on a map rather than as a list.
Frankly, the killer app in locating a free Wi-Fi network is most likely toting around an iPhone and selecting a network whenever your beloved friend asks you if you’d like to. Thank you iPhone. That said, many can’t afford an iPhone for locating access and therefore a city-wide solution is certainly of value to so many. If someone could focus on empowering the masses by offering the information to lead them there, they’d have my vote.
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