Friday, August 31, 2007

Comprehensive guide to local WiFi

Is there one? One that brings together all hotspots and lists them on one page or in one database/map? I know that LilyPad has a listing of their stuff - you know how much I love LilyPad - and so does ZoomTown and you can look up the T-Mobile Hotspots on their site. But is there one local page that aggregates all that data, including independent hotspots at coffeeshops, bars, etc.? Or perhaps a larger national/international resource that has local WiFi details?

If it's not already available, is anyone interested setting it up? Or helping me set it up? Or using a resource already available (if there is one) and making sure it's up-to-date with the latest status on connectivity?

I want to make sure we have a comprehensive resource that is not only searchable by zipcode/address, but has maps and lists the details of each spot including signal quality ratings, cost/free, security, range, etc. If you're interested in helping, please contact me!


ShannanB said... seems to have a pretty big list. Not sure if it's comprehensive or not but it seems like a good list.

BTW - Have you seen this article on the state of WiFi in other cities? Not going so well....

CincyBlurg said...

That's a really good list. My concern is that a national-based source may not keep up on the listings. Perhaps we could use this list as a starting point for a local-centric version. I'd love to have more detailed reviews of hotspot including info about the establishment, last time verified, etc. I'd also like to be able to filter searches to show only free access points.

I've read a few articles about WiFi struggling in other cities, and heard an NPR segment about it this week. I've never been an advocate of large municipal WiFi clouds, because the current technology (802.11b/g) just doesn't work that well for that kind of thing. It'll be the next gen of broadband wireless that will probably see real penetration.

In the meantime, I'd like to see as many food service-based businesses get their own WiFi access point as possible. To know that I can get sh*t done on my laptop while on the move around town is one of the things that gets me out of the office for more meetings. But I'd like to be able to go to more places than just Panera and Brueggers, Coffee Emporium and Lookout Joe's, my ol' reliable hotspots.

Czar said...

I would be very interested in helping put together a local page and might know some people who would help. I'll even go so far as to say that my firm, Rosetta Stone Studios, would be happy to host the page.

The issue with this, as with any projects of this nature is maintenance. We'll need a team of volunteers willing to keep the info up-to-date. Even if we do it in a wiki style, we'll still need a core who will stick with it.

I'll contact you now!

PS- Great blog. Has had me guffawing several times!

Joe Hansbauer said...

Hey BlurgGurl... love your blog, and although I am involved in Lily Pad, I don't take offense to your comments...

Lily Pad is alive and kicking and have been working hard. Please remember this is 100% volunteer based, so we're trying to put up new spots as quickly as possible and keep things running smoothly.

Couple comments... first I'd love to know what issues you are seeing. What computer do you use? (Mac or PC).

Secondly, Give Back Cincinnati (Lily Pad's parent) is getting set to recruit new team members, including members of the Lily Pad team. We'd LOVE to have people that are passionate about making things happen in terms of Wifi! We have info sessions on Sept. 5, 9, 13 (go to and look under 'Hands-On Events' to see the upcoming info sessions and register to attend and learn more!)

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