Free Wireless Internet Access – Coming Soon to a City Near You

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Date: Wednesday, August 15th, 2001, 12:24
Category: Archive

In case you haven’t noticed, people love Airport and wireless networking. This is a good thing. If you are ever in a strange (or normal for that matter) metropolitan city in the U.S. with your Airport-equipped PowerBook and need a quick fix of bandwidth, simply click on your Airport control strip and probe around for available base stations.


In case you haven’t noticed, people love Airport and wireless networking. This is a good thing. If you are ever in a strange (or normal for that matter) metropolitan city in the U.S. with your Airport-equipped PowerBook and need a quick fix of bandwidth, simply click on your Airport control strip and probe around for available base stations.

This helped me immensely while traveling last weekend when an airport business center was closed for business but they left their Airport base station open for business. 154 emails later I was happily reading and writing email in the airport (lower case “a”) lounge over a cold Sam Adams. Excellent!

This whole Airport (upper case “A”) revolution got me thinking about a new generation of wireless philanthropy. Witness PowerLista and PPUG founder Rob Parker. He lives in Philadelphia, has broadband (lucky bastad!) and an Airport base station and has generously offered to lend his connection to traveling ‘Listas in the area.

It goes like this: email him your particulars and he will email you directions and the password to his ABS. Park on the street outside his crib and BANG! POP all you want.

I think that other PowerListas and Go2Mac readers should follow his lead and set up a Bandwidth club for traveling colleagues and share the wealth. After all, what’s a little bandwidth amongst friends?

A Slashdot article “A Motley Crew Beams No-Cost Broadband In New York” talks about the free networks available in New York.


Peter Meyers points to this article in the Village Voice, one of the best I’ve seen on the growing guerilla-networking scene. He excerpts a bit for your pleasure: “Along with some 30 other volunteers in a group called NYCwireless, Townsend’s on a crusade to set up wireless Internet access zones: small areas, often called free networks, where people can tap into high-speed connections, without cables or phone lines, at no cost. Call it a marriage of the Web and pirate radio, forged even as big telecom interests bicker over the rights to wireless-spectrum licenses.”

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