First, let me say again how cool it is that Portland has city-supported, free WiFi. The Internet isn’t just a toy, it’s a tool. Making it available to everyone is super.
For “power users” like me, MetroFi’s service won’t be replacing my current providers, nor stop me from going to coffee shops with their own connection. It’s a pretty lousy browsing experience for anyone who is used to zipping along, especially using multiple tabs. This is probably perfect for those who check their email once per day, or just get on to check the weather.
I cannot access sites that try to break out of framesets. MetroFi notices and redirects to their page with a frameset. Then the site tries to break out again. It’s an infinite loop, as the power struggle continues.
It’s not all bad. MetroFi’s service will work for most users, though they may be disappointed by the speed. Despite my problems with the frameset, I’m pleased to see that MetroFi has gone to lengths to preserve URLs.
The best part to me is feeling more connected. Here I sit in my favorite non-WiFi coffee shop and I’m able to hop on to answer a question, send an email, or write a review of a so-so service*.
For months, I’ve gone to Marsee for a bagel and coffee. I’ve read the newspaper or put pen to notebook. It was a pretty neat realization a couple weeks ago that I could also open my laptop.
*I feel like I should mention that MetroFi offers a premium, non-ad version of the service. For $19.95 per month, it’s less than most other broadband options. My guess is that it would also solve the problems I’ve outlined above.