Friday, June 29, 2007

Lily Pad: Thumbs Down. Ouch!

So I'm down near Fountain Square right now killing some time before I head up to Final Friday. Thought I'd use Lily Pad to blurg a bit and surf, and of course I can't reliably connect. I've tried several different locations around here, but, as usual, it just doesn't work well.

I love the idea of Lily Pad (or any free wifi for that matter), and some of the locations they've enabled are perfect spots for wifi, but I've never had a good experience - in terms of connection and signal consistency - at any of them. Doesn't matter what laptop I use, Lily Pad just sucks.

Lily Pad, PLEASE fix your sh*t. NOTE: this was finally sent via email from my cellphone. My thumb hurts - THANKS Lily Pad!


Anonymous said...

Is Lily Pad even in existence any more? Nobody answers my email, they've been talking about having it on Warsaw Avenue for more than a year now, and nothing happens. Did it all fall apart? Does anyone know?

CincyBlurg said...

I assume they're still around, but they haven't done much, if anything, to improve the service since they started. Most of the hotspots suck and they've never gotten better.

It's like that Leadership Cincinnati crap: they start some project, get it up and running, "graduate" from the Leadership Cincinnati program, add a line to their resume, and forget about their project completely.

Cincinnati Change Cdr. said...

No WiFi for Cincinnati - for now

Cincinnati won’t soon be a wireless city after all.

The wireless broadband market is too unstable now, and similar projects have been canceled across the country, City Manager Milton Dohoney says. So he notified the mayor and city council members this week that his plan to explore citywide WiFi goes on hold.

To study the possibility, the city spent about $18,000, less than the $50,000 council set aside.

When Dohoney’s office announced in May that officials hoped the city would be wireless in three years, the idea drew praise. Ryan Rybolt, president and co-founder of Project Lilypad, a volunteer group that encourages the development of free wireless hot spots, said city WiFi would help draw young professionals to Cincinnati because it helps the city appear progressive.

Mayor Mark Mallory said he hoped to find a way to provide computers to low-income residents so they could use the wireless service, too.

Civitium, a Georgia company that has worked for Chicago, Los Angeles and Las Vegas among others, was hired to advise local officials. According to the company’s blog, “capital-constrained muni WiFi operators have shifted their business models to require revenue commitments from local governments recently, as a condition for agreeing to build Wi-Fi networks.”

That was the problem for Cincinnati – too much money would likely be required from the city, said Meg Olberding, city spokeswoman. It was clear, Dohoney said in his memo, that the city likely would not get a favorable response if it issued a request for proposals to build a network. The projects can cost millions.

Among the problems elsewhere, the city manager said: leading provider Earthlink is restructuring, cutting staff and canceling projects in San Francisco, St. Petersburg, Fla., and New Orleans; Chicago canceled its plans after being unable to reach an agreement with providers after issuing a request for proposals.

The city plans to hold onto its research and wait for the market to change.

“It was a wise investment to do our due diligence,” Olberding said. “It gives us a good base to be ready when the timing is right.”


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