Wi-Fi Whereabouts

Posted by: Cliff Edwards on January 17, 2006

Looks like we’ll be seeing the day sometime soon where we’ll have an always Web-connected world.

Internet Wi-Fi finding company JiWire says we’re fast approaching 100,000 wireless Internet “hotspots” around the world, up nearly double from 57,000 hotspots a year ago. San Francisco continues to rank as the largest hotspot city in the states, followed by New York, Chicago and Atlanta. But U.S. cities are a paltry 5th on the list worldwide, with Seoul, London, Tokyo and Daegu, Korea, besting San Francisco by fairly significant margins, all.

The list is likely to get more interesting next year, as municipalities across the U.S. begin to offer free Wi-Fi not just in high-tourist areas such as San Francisco’s Union Square shopping district, but everywhere. The vast majority of the hotspots around the world make you pay an access fee to connect, and cities see free hotspots as a way to help bridge a growing digital divide. Cleveland and Philadelphia, who are do not rank among the top 10, are the farthest along, but the movement appears to be gathering steam.

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BusinessWeek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, Douglas MacMillan, and Spencer Ante dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. One of the first mainstream media tech blogs, Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.

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