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colin

urban wi-fi zones

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The City of Tucson will dedicate two new free wi-fi zones in its Downtown area on May 23rd. These are what the city hopes will be the first of many access points in the Downtown area.

The article is here.

With this country far behind Europe in offering free internet access, I'm curious how many other cities have programs like this. San Diego has a couple of public access points, but it also has a huge Downtown area. Phoenix has none, Albuquerque has none and I don't believe that Houston has any.

What about other cities?

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Downtown Orlando has a large free wi-fi zone around its large park (Lake Eola). I've heard rumblings of both SF and Philly going wireless city-wide, but I don't know whats come of that.

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The only free wi-fi in a park in Memphis that I know of is in Court Square downtown:

43318678.jpg

(Courtesy of Dianna Taylor Crumpler)

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Both Minneapolis and St. Paul are developing city-wide Wi-Fi service. Various coffee shops, cafes, and hotels already have the service, but soon the whole city will have it.

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I believe that Winston-Salem, NC has made portions of its downtown wi-fi enabled, although I'd have to go searching for the article to give the exact areas. Also, Raleigh will make Fayetteville St. wi-fi enabled once the when it has been fully restored from a pedestrian mall to "street" status. The small, but funky, progressive town of Carrboro (next to Chapel Hill, NC) has its entire town center wi-fi enabled, as well.

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Columbia, SC is working on providing wi-fi for its CBD area. There are already some in existance at USC and in the Vista (an entertainment district).

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Spokane has free wi-fi downtown, and Seattle has announced a couple of pilot projects, in the U-District, and Columbia City. Plus, I think there are plans to add wi-fi to some downtown parks.

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Pittsburgh has the eight block section of the "cultural district" along Penn and Liberty Avenues (theaters, parks, etc.) as wi-fi enabled. Pittsburgh International Airport Terminals have FREE wi-fi (according to them the ONLY Major Airport to have such a feature). Mellon Square and Market Square from what I've heard downtown has wi-fi capability and the 45 floor (or so) Oxford Centre Skyscraper downtown is fully wi-fi enabled including its block long plaza at street level.

Pittsburgh's University District to the East also has many wi-fi hotspots both on and off campus. The most notable in that neighborhood was the WORLD'S VERY FIRST FULLY WIRELESS CAMPUS at Carnegie Mellon University. Just for trivia's sake it also has the claim of being the world's first "Fully Wired" Campus back in the early 1980s. Who would have thought that a claim of "first fully wired" would seem so obsolete 20 years later ;)

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