The original home of the blog known as 802 Online

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Williston Gets Free Wi-fi

Susan Glickman at DAML
Originally uploaded by cresmer.
It's official — Willison's Dorothy Alling Memorial Library is a new hotspot. Here's librarian Susan Glickman showing off the library's announcement blog via the new wireless internet connection. Glickman appears in a story I wrote a couple weeks ago about VT library computing resources. FYI — the Starbucks a mile down the road still doesn't have wi-fi. And if they did, you can bet it wouldn't be free.
Right on! Wi-fi wants to be free. I have an open network at my house and I think everyone who has a private wireless network should just leave them open. If the cities and towns don't give us free municipal wi-fi, we should just do it ourselves.

What's the stutus of municipal wi-fi in BTV? We're a perfect city for it--at least all of downtown ought to be covered.

I used to be able to find a free open network at Borders on Church St. (a favorite summer hangout for me) but whoever owned the network locked it up. Now I either have to pay for the lame ass T-Mobile "hotspot" (not in a million years--$7/hour???) or walk up to the Radio Bean to get my free internet on.
BTV does not have municipal wi-fi. A company called soundtivity has wired some hotspots, including most of Church Street, the waterfront, and North Beach campground. But they charge a fee (though it's cheaper than T-mobile.)

I've never actually used their network, because it's not compatible with Safari. And besides, there are a few free wi-fi pockets on Church St. Bruegger's has a free service, and there's another one around there somewhere, too. I'm currently blogging from my favorite free hotspot, Speeder & Earl's on Pine Street.

The group to talk to about free municipal wi-fi in Burlington is Burlington Telecom. I spoke to Tim Nulty there months ago for a story I did on broadband (not yet available in our online archives). He says the city has ceded responsibility for wi-fi to private enterprise because they're focusing on their big wired project. In the next few years, they'll be laying cable that will offer every home in Burlington access to a municipal network that will provide phone, cable, and internet for cheaper than Verizon & Adelphia.

It's an ambitious plan. Tim says the broadband connection will be many times faster than what's available through DSL and cable modem. He compared it to a boat with an outboard motor vs. a giant freighter.

They got their loan money at the end of last year. It'll be interesting to see what happens.
Thanks Cathy for visiting us yesterday and for writing about our new Wi-fi. Small typo in your post "Williston" is missing it's T. Susan
Leave it to a librarian to spot a typo.
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