A Call to Action

Everyone should know my affinity for free WiFi available in public places. Contrary to what it may seem, I think it encourages people to interact with each other more extensively. Every time I sit in a coffee shop that has free wireless internet, I see customers chatting with each other, showing each other funny webpage, web articles, etc. They also stay longer, so it just makes sense for a business.

Now that Philadelphia is planning to go all WiFi (I think I heard that it would be a charge of around $5 a month, but I could be wrong), I’m actually looking at another city with some jealousy. Some people may claim that this is a poor expenditure for the city. And, of course, there are other problems that the city could be focusing on. Let me explain why I would love to have this in Atlanta. First, it’s probably a good revenue source (with the bonus that it essentially charges the, uh, richer folks). It would cost several million to set up (Philly is estimating around $7 million) but then raking in $5 or $10 a month from people would earn that back fairly quickly and then some. Second, I love WiFi. It gets people out of the house and on the town. Imagine city parks filled with people interacting. Businesses all over the city blooming with people interacting with each other and buying their coffee, their food, their whatever. It would help the consumer also. The savvy consumer could use some sort of palm pilot to check alternate prices while in a store. The possibilities are so great to imagine.

Atlanta is such a young city that it could work really well here. I suspect that most wifi users are young and this would help us youngsters getting out around the town.

But, no. In Atlanta we have to deal with stupid sewage problems instead. I say, to hell with it (not really). Bring on the WiFi!

Support free wireless institutions. Peitition Shirley Franklin to bring it here.

We should start a campaign to bring ubiquitous wireless here to Atlanta. We could call it Free Atlanta. Is everyone with me? Rise up! We have nothing to lose but our wires!

9 Comments so far

  1. Billy Mack (unregistered) on September 22nd, 2004 @ 5:35 pm

    I think you’re probably being a little tongue-in-cheek here, but if you’re serious, I’ll bite the bullet and be the first voice of dissension.

    I think the Philly city government should be beaten with sticks for making such a dumb decision. They’re paying $10 mil for a one-square-mile range? What percentage of the city’s population will that serve? .005%?

    I don’t think we’re at a point yet where a large enough percentage of the population has wifi access and needs/can use such amenities. There has to be better use for city funds than helping geeks like us browse Metafilter from Piedmont Park. If someone can afford a wifi laptop, they can afford the $4 cappucino they’ll buy when they grab a couch and use the Starbucks access point.

    If the city wants to spread the technovirus (which I’m all for, being a web geek and all), they should be putting more web-enabled computers in schools and libraries in low-income areas of the city. Start at the bottom when building your tech base, not from the top. Just my opinion, of course.

    By the way, congrats on the trivia win, Daniel. I probably would’ve missed the question. (My guess would’ve been “Inert”…is it right?)

  2. Daniel (unregistered) on September 22nd, 2004 @ 6:24 pm

    Heh. Just a little tongue-in-cheek. It would be nice if more businesses had free wifi though. They should.

    The answer, actually, is “noble metals.” Inert is a term usually reserved for gases that don’t chemically interact with the environment.

  3. Billy Mack (unregistered) on September 22nd, 2004 @ 6:27 pm

    See, I totally would’ve missed it. I was sure I had heard of Noble gases but not Noble metals, so I ruled that out as a red herring. (Of course, that was lousy logic, since I’d also heard of inert gases, and didn’t feel the need to rule that out.)

  4. Jen (unregistered) on September 22nd, 2004 @ 9:03 pm

    Atlanta, the city to busy Wi-fi’n to hate!

  5. Steve (unregistered) on September 22nd, 2004 @ 11:03 pm

    JEN! Finally, we may have found that slogan we were all SO worried about back in this entry –

    http://atlanta.metblogs.com/archives/000313.phtml .

    I love it when things get tied up in a bow. Seriously though, it’s sort of shiny happy city-on-a-hill, but I like Daniel’s utopian vision, tongue-in-cheek or no. I’ve run out of hyphenated phrases for the moment, so here endeth the comment.

  6. Daniel (unregistered) on September 23rd, 2004 @ 12:20 pm

    Billy, don’t worry. Before I started my Ph.D. work, I probably would have gotten it wrong also.

    Steve, I agree. It would be a nice thing to have. But I suspect that the better way to go about it is to get local neighborhoods to do it. Like those of us in VaHi should try to convince the VaHi Civic Assoc. or something like that… It’s good for the businesses, anyway… hmmm… there’s an idea.

  7. Jessica (unregistered) on September 29th, 2004 @ 9:56 am

    No need to get the city involved — just keep giving 3rd Wave the love. It’s got wireless access in several car dealers’ waiting rooms now.

  8. Daniel (unregistered) on September 29th, 2004 @ 1:16 pm

    I’ve no problem with that. I frequent 3rd Wave businesses as much as I can and try to tell managers and owners about it if they don’t have it…

  9. directory (unregistered) on October 8th, 2005 @ 10:32 am

    Take your time to check some helpful info dedicated to win .

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