WiFi Everywhere – Even at State Parks?
I have 5 great spots I go to if I need to get out of the house, get something to eat or drink and surf the web. Yes, 2 of those spots serve alcohol, but it’s not about the drinking. It’s all about getting out of the house and working.
Of course, WiFi is important to only a select few that like to take their laptops out and work or surf while having a bite to eat. With more people switching to mobile devices – whether a laptop, smartphone or Ultra-Mobile PC (UMPC) – people want to know where they can go to get connected. Even if it means just getting directions, checking over the hours of a store you want to visit, or just checking your email – from home or the office.
Some people have invested the $80 a month (plus price of card) for mobile broadband. Work or play from anywhere at high speed. Just as long as you don’t hit a “Dead Spot”.
There are more and more ways to connect to WiFi. Through the local Starbucks or on your city bus you can get WiFi. Stores like Staples and your public library give you the ability to connect and surf. You can surf intoxicated if you want at your favorite pub. Or even look up email or websites at your local State Park.
USAToday reported that 28 States have at least 1 State Park that is a WiFi hotspot. They want the ability for visitors to keep in touch. And while some don’t like the idea of “Technologizing” Nature, they will like the idea that their mobile smartphone might help them in a jam.
Granted, we are not going to see plug outlets at every shelter or campsite. You might just have to bring the car charger, another charged battery or some hand crank-able power generator. But you will have the ability to surf while you camp, hike or climb.
Some parks are great for those that just want to get out of the office for lunch (if there is one close by). Nowadays you can’t check your personal email or surf on the company network. The cool thing is if you have a State park nearby, you can take your mobile device to the park, sit on a bench, eat your bag lunch and get some of the important things to you done.
It might also bring more visitors to parks. Just the idea of wireless access might entice someone to chose the state park over the campground. After all – More visitors means more revenue for the park.
With this change, will that make Sprint or Verizon wireless broadband obsolete? Think about what would be next – Highway wireless – even another attempt at citywide wireless like Philadelphia has. Still, it’s not everywhere all the time, so for now you might want to invest in those cards if you need remote access in Nowhere City, AL.
Another thing to keep in mind is that you are connecting to a free service. That can mean poor connection, collection of personal data to access the internet (like an email address) and time limits. It can also mean blocked content – after all, I wouldn’t expect you could access a site with questionable material.
For now, I still have my 5 favorite spots. I can drink coffee, eat food, have a beer, read a book or just surf – depending on which spot I go to. Maybe I can add to the list “Sit by the lake” or “Sit on a picnic table in the warm sun” and surf. I better get a new battery for that…