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Thursday, October 02, 2003

Baltimore is (truly) unwired

Mirrored from hiptop Nation minus some thumb typos:

baltimore_harbor_wifi.jpgI just tested out the newly unveiled free WiFi [www.baltimoreunwired.com] here at Baltimore's Inner Harbor. MacStumbler on my PowerBook G4 shows an unusable weak intermittent signal all around the promenade from the Science Center (where the signal is broadcast from an antenna on the roof), past the Light Street Pavillion, to the end of the Pratt Pavillion by the World Trade Center. These areas are the advertised access zone. I have never had a problem at the dozens of hotspots I've visited in multiple cities. This should just work.

Perhaps it's a technical glitch, or maybe I'll hear a lame excuse about Macs not being supported, but the choice to launch on the eve of the first frost warnings suggests more of a PR misstep. I hear the program was mentioned as far back as January, and that the vendor who donated the service only had to install $10,000 worth of equipment. Rolling this out in April would have given them an entire summer's worth of good will.

I also see no signage outside or literature in the pavillions advertising the new service. Truthfully, I'm one of the few hardy fools in town that will brave the cold to really test something like this, and merely having some signs up to hype the free access would have been enough to impress tourists who are unlikely to be carrying around WiFi capable laptops or PDAs.

I'll be contacting the economic development people and the ISP tomorrow.

- mike lee - baltimore

11:50 PM in Baltimore | Permalink

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Tracked on Oct 16, 2003 1:52:22 PM

Comments

Take some chalk! )(

:-)

Posted by: matt at Oct 7, 2003 6:26:12 PM

i was unable to get a solid connection either on my pocketpc wifi or my powerbook g4. it's not a mac thing. the connection just seems really bad. really really bad..

Posted by: km at Oct 7, 2003 11:01:56 PM

Thanks Kel for confirming my experience. I ended up not getting after the service sponsors because I'm just not that excited about using WiFi at the Inner Harbor in the dead of winter. The signal may be accessible in the food courts of the pavillions, but I start work in DC soon, so I'll be poking around down there for access options.

And Matt, I wouldn't rule out the occurance of chalking activity at the harbor, but I can't specifically confirm or deny ;-)

Posted by: Mike Lee at Oct 8, 2003 5:38:32 PM