Wireless Internet Hits Home

After reading my local paper, I found out that Charlotte, one of the larger cities in North Carolina,
is getting Wi-Fi access in its downtown area. I visit Charlotte on a regular
basis, so it’s nice to hear that it’s become such a tech savvy city.

The Charlotte region is catching the Wi-Fi wave. Look closer the next time
you’re at an uptown eatery, the airport or an outdoor plaza. People on
laptops are surfing the Web from bistro tables, coffee shops or even their
cars – without a cord or wire in sight.

Wi-Fi, which stands for “wireless fidelity,” is technology that allows
computer users to log onto the Internet without phone lines. Users have to
be near a Wi-Fi access point and have a wireless card plugged into their
laptop or an antenna already built in to pick up a signal.Busy travelers can
just pull over to a bookstore or coffee shop. Desk jockeys can escape the
office and work somewhere else. Students or stay-at-home employees can leave
the familiar surroundings of home and change locations for inspiration.

UNC Charlotte graduate student Alexis Baker lugged her laptop and three
stacks of books into Jackson’s Java in University City earlier this week to
knock out a research paper due the next day.”I come in with a big hiking
bag,” said Baker, who studies geography. “I like the freedom of it. I don’t
have to sit at home.”Chuck Haskins, a business owner who lives in Harrisburg
and often works from the road, picks certain hotel chains known for having
wireless access not only from the rooms, but from the lobby, too, so he can
connect over breakfast. “We depend on it so heavily,” Haskins said of his
company. [Full story here]