Wireless internet, like cell phone coverage, is something we view as an inalienable right (note to selves: read the Constitution). Unlike cell phones, wi-fi is sometimes free, or at least free with purchase of coffee or tea. At some point, much of Chicago will be covered by municipal wi-fi, but in the meantime, your local cafe is a good alternative to sitting on a frigid park bench. The good folks at Gridskipper have compiled a list of their ten favorite free wi-fi spots around the city, which we think is a good intro. A quick search on MenuPages reveals 102 hotspots, but that includes pay-to-play. The number does not include Starbucks, which charges $10 a day for access. Extortionate! Ready for a scheme? This Spanish company called FON wants to tap into the cheapskate Starbucks customer market and offer your wireless up to the public for $2, of which you get a buck (details and commentary here). Will wonders never cease?
Chicago Wireless Internet Zone [Official Site]
Chicago WiFi Cafes [Gridskipper]
Wireless Internet [Starbucks]
Customer Connection Center [T-Mobile]
FON [Official Site]
Fon wants you to help steal business from Starbucks and T-Mobile [engadget]
[Photo: City of Chicago]