Wifi available at select locations, not yet city-wide

nate wifi

Chandal Geerdes/Staff Writer

Trying to find a place other than home or school to write that long English paper or do that research project in Chemistry? Well, here are the hot spots in the Cedar Valley where you can enjoy a nice, fast, sweet or spicy treat while you do your homework.

Instead of your typical library run or trip to the campuses of Hawkeye or UNI there are many other free Wi-Fi locations where you can relax and get your school work done at the same time. Starbucks, Panera Bread and McDonald’s in both Cedar Falls and Waterloo provide free Wi-Fi. Other restaurants include Bourbon Street, Carlos O’Kelly’s in Cedar Falls, Roux Orleans and CU in Waterloo. The most popular places tend to be Panera Bread, Cup of Joe in downtown Cedar Falls, and Barnes & Noble in Waterloo.

“When I go to Panera or Starbucks I go on Facebook, or look up things on the Internet like YouTube,” sophomore Gwen Davies said.

A good amount of cities around the world are making it possible for their residents to be connected to the Internet all day by having Wi-Fi connectivity throughout their city limits.
The US is starting to follow the lead of Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea and many other places in Asia by having a wireless mesh of networks that work to transmit signals that are able to travel large distances and offer service to many people. They can do this because the networks connect in receivers around the city rather than one central location.

Currently in the US there are 79 cities and region wide areas that have municipal Wi-Fi projects. In St. Cloud, Florida the network that spans 24 square miles is free of charge and after six months, 77 percent of the inhabitants had registered for the network service. While in Tempe, Ariz., their 40 square mile Wi-Fi network only has about 15 percent of the residents subscribed.

Mountain View, California, Google’s hometown, “as a reach out for (their) hometown” offers free wireless Internet. In Corpus Christi, Texas the large 147 square mile Wi-Fi network is mainly for the public works and public safety departments. It is saving the city a large sum of money, and the police are able to conduct their jobs better by having the instant Internet access.

As for Cedar Falls, CFU is not looking into the Wi-Fi for the municipal area. If there ever were to be a Wi-Fi connection for the city there would most likely be a charge depending on the equipment needed.

“It would be cool if CF did that, I know I would use it,” junior Alex Stensland said.

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