Community Wifi access is an important component to a thriving metropolitan area. Let’s face it – the Internet is an important part of every day life. Without it, you can’t buy cheap airline tickets, do online banking, check email or anything else without paying for a dedicated connection. The fact of the matter is, not everyone can afford to have their own dedicated Internet connection. This is where the power of community WiFi really shines.
Imagine if you will being able to stroll up your favorite Portland boulevard and grab some internet out of the air. Perhaps sitting outside your favorite coffee house or restaurant. Perhaps you have an iPod touch or an iPad with no 3G or Edge access. Believe it or not, there are plenty of people who don’t have 3G access! I know, shocking, right? Perhaps not.
I’ve been working for the last few years with the Personal Telco group. This group of talented technical folks is dedicated to providing community Wifi wherever it can. The concept is simple – if you are able, open your Wifi up to allow others to share your connection. Businesses can take part, too. In fact, businesses that have free Internet access will ultimately receive more foot traffic than those who don’t!
Right now, I am working with the Personal Telco group and the Woodstock Boulevard Business Association to try and light up Woodstock between SE 40th and 57th with free Wifi for all who visit. It’s the right thing to do. Everyone wins.