City/JMRL Provide Park WiFi

The central branch of the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library has, in collaboration with the City of Charlottesville, expanded their wireless internet access presence beyond the walls of the library. Thanks to a new antenna pointing north, free WiFi is now available in Lee Park, Christina Tkacik reports in today’s Progress. Many laptops will be able to use the node for access as far away as Central Place and McGuffey. City Councilor Kevin Lynch worked with a friend and former co-worker who is in the WiFi hotspot business to obtain an access point at a significant discount.

Kevin — who gives props to the library for making this possible — asks where y’all would like to see this service expanded. Would a city-wide WiFi network be something that would interest you? If just some portions of the city, where?

And user fdr, not having had great luck with the signal this morning, asks if people can report on the speed and signal strength that they’ve received in the area of the library.

6 thoughts on “City/JMRL Provide Park WiFi”

  1. Would a city-wide WiFi network be something that would interest you? If just some portions of the city, where?

    I don’t live in the city, but if I did I wouldn’t need access to an unsecured network everywhere all the time. Having it at all city parks, throughout the downtown mall, and on the Corner would make me plenty happy. I personally would find it useful to have the parking lots along 29N covered — but that’s mostly county, so not Kevin’s problem. ;-)

    Also, what about having free WiFi in every low-income housing development? I know at least a couple of them have computer centers (to use the term a bit loosely), but as even PC prices are dropping so dramatically, free wireless to every unit there could go a long way to “bridge the technology divide” (I think that’s how the politically oriented folks say it).

  2. Didn’t I just hear on the news or somewhere about how the Mall has just been set up with wireless? I swear I just heard it this morning in the car…from the west end to the east end.

  3. Ditto.

    I particularly like that because it raises less concerns about the city competing with private business, undercutting them with “free.” By serving a segment of the population for whom broadband internet access simply isn’t going to happen any time soon, such problems are avoided.

  4. I think the downtown mall should be a city supported WiFi hotspot. It would be nice for students and us freelancers looking for a dynamic environment to do work, and can only benefit the mall’s commerce.

    Ditto to james about sunlight friendly laptops…

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