Blogs » Digital Babble » Wifi in Victoria: Where is it?


With Victoria being a college town, and a city that seems to be growing larger by the minute, it would be safe to assume that you would be able to find wireless Internet access (also known as 'wifi hotspots') all over the place. Boy was I wrong.

For those of you who are wondering why I care about this issue, first a little lesson on what wifi is:

  • Wi-Fi (also WiFi, Wi-fi, Wifi, or wifi) is a set of product compatibility standards for wireless local area networks (WLAN) based on the IEEE 802.11 specifications.

  • Contrary to popular belief, Wi-Fi did not originally stand for Wireless-Fidelity. The term "Wi-Fi" was developed by the Wi-Fi Alliance along with the Interbrand Corporation (here) to describe WLAN products that are based on the IEEE 802.11 standards.

  • A hotspot is a connection point for a WiFi network. It is a small box that is hardwired into the Internet. The box contains an 802.11 radio that can simultaneously talk to up to 100 or so 802.11 cards.

  • Commercial Wi-Fi services are available in places such as Internet cafes, coffee houses and airports around the world (commonly called Wi-Fi-cafés).

  • WiFi is pronounced 'wy-fy,' not 'whiffy.'

  • Now why would anyone want to access the Internet outside of their home or office?

    It's not a necessity, but having wireless Internet access in public areas can come in handy during a casual business lunch at a restaurant or a blogger meetup at a cafe. All you need is a laptop with wireless capability, and you're all set.

    I've had meetings where I would like to show a client a few samples of my web design work, but due to limited Internet access I have to improvise with a printout or Power Point presentation. In situations such as those, I think it would have made more of an impact if the client could have viewed a hands-on example of my work.

    In the case of a blogger meetup, if the event were held at a place with wifi, those who could not make it to the actual location but still wanted to be part of the meetup may be able to tune in live via a webcam or instant messaging programs.

    So, what about (free)wifi spots in Victoria? Where are they? And I don't mean wifi that has been stolen from your neighbor down the street. For this argument, let's just settle on businesses that have set up free wifi for public use.

    Here is a small list I created. Please let me know of any others I can add to my list.

    Wifi spots in Victoria:

    Zowarka's - free access

    Victoria Mall - not sure about pricing

    T-Mobile - NorthCrest - not sure about pricing

    Lazy Longhorn RV park - free access for customers

    Victoria College - access for students. The VC Web site previously promoted access available for the public, but I can't find that information listed anymore.

    McDonald's- Confirmed wifi at the 3112 N. Navarro St. location, next to Victoria Communication Services.

    Changing the subject just for a minute, our own blogger crew here at the Advocate recently had a blogger meetup at the Hastings Hardback Cafe in Victoria.

    Although I was not able to attend, the word around the blogosphere is that the event was a success. The bloggers are also looking forward to more meetups.

    And from what I hear from the management at the Hardback Cafe, they are planning to have wifi access available at the cafe soon. So maybe one day soon you can sign in and watch and listen as Rusty talks about fishing or Kelli educates us on proper grammar usage.

    Here is one photo taken by Cleric at the meetup:

    (Click on image for larger view)
    Pictured from left to right: Captain Boots' Pilot, Tim Oi, Tim Delaney - Victoria Advocate online editor, Chelsey, Kelli's husband and Kelli. Rusty is in the background.

    Thanks go out to the management at the Hastings Hardback Cafe for letting the bloggers meet there.