Does it make my Portland WiFi site a little less relevant? Maybe. When I started it over two years ago, I listed about fifty spots. Now there are over 250 hotspots. Ubiquity was bound to decrease its relevance. Ubiquity is a good thing here.
While I wasn’t invited to the ethernet-cutting ceremony (seriously–they cut a cable instead of a ribbon), I know WifiPDX has played an important role in Portland’s wireless Internet culture. I’m proud to live in a city that is taking connectivity for everyone seriously. I get a few phone calls per week about WiFi and I have hated telling people that they can’t have WiFi at home without paying fifty bucks per month.
Now I don’t have to. We’ll see how the MetroFi quality is. We’ll see if ad-supported free service and a premium option is enough support. But at least it’s available. They’ve released version one and can always add features later.
As for WifiPDX, it is not closing its doors. To me, hanging out at a coffee shop on my computer isn’t so much about the free Internet as it is the place and people. Even though I have WiFi at home, I go to a coffee shop for the atmosphere.
While I write about what some might see as my site’s obsolescence, November marks the first month that over 3,000 people visited WifiPDX. That’s 150% growth since August. Not bad.