THE PUBLIC WIRELESS WEB SPECIAL REPORT We’re going local this month, focusing on wi-fi in Chico, or the lack thereof. It’s all about access friends. Google has a bid to bring free wireless to all of San Francisco and my guess is they won’t stop there. But until the spread of free wireless broadband reaches us North Staters, I hope local businesses will see the benefits of providing free web access to the community.
WHAT THE READERS SAY I set out to survey the current wireless situation in public spaces here in Chico, and with the help of some of you readers, this is what we found:
Trish wrote in to say she heard rumors that the Chico branch of the Butte County Library might go wireless (yes, please). She also mentioned Coco Caffé (Mangrove between 7th and 9th Avenue) which has free wi-fi, comfy couches, many accessible outlets and good, inexpensive food.
Lori laments missing the free wireless she accessed in coffee shops, parks and even the Dairy Queen in Austin, Texas. Arriving in Chico about a year ago, she was surprised to find so many people didn’t even know what wi-fi meant, but eventually found it offered for free at Café Paulo (642 West 5th Street). They also have a desktop PC available for Internet use at 10 cents per minute.
Horatio e-mailed to tell me that Chico State University charges eight bucks a month for wireless access on campus though many of the students say the signal is weak.
Matt wrote in with the idea of all of Chico having free wireless. Maybe the Chico Chamber of Commerce could convince a company like Google to provide free wi-fi coverage for all of downtown.
Other wi-fi, Ethernet and desktop Internet options:
Teaz Me (250 Vallombrosa Ave.) Free!
Moxies Café & Gallery (128 Broadway) $2 per week (Sunday and Sunday) 10 cents per minute on four desktop computers.
Has Beans (501 Main Street) $2 per day or 10 cents per minute on two desktop computers. Free Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. with purchase.
Naked Lounge (118 W. 2nd Ave.) $2 per hour or $5 for three hours.
Chico Copy & Postal (220 Broadway) $10 per hour for desktop use $5 per hour for Ethernet connection to laptop $1 per hour wireless
Starbucks (Downtown; Broadway and 3rd Street) Complicated and expensive pricing scheme through T-Mobile.