This year's survey sheds more light on what previous Intel Unwired Cities surveys were indicating - that connecting to wireless Internet access points with laptop PCs and other wireless-enabled devices in public places is becoming part of everyday life in America . Businesses use wireless Internet access as a competitive advantage to attract customers, and cities use it to enhance livability and quality of life. Consumers are also discovering these so-called "WiFi hotspots" at an increasingly diverse range of locations - from airports and hotels to laundromats and baseball parks.
"Wireless is becoming a fundamental part of how we live," said Bert Sperling of Sperling's Best Places, which conducted the surveys. "The ability to access information and entertainment when and where you want it is simply irresistible to business people seeking greater productivity and consumers who live an on-the-go lifestyle."
Following the Seattle-Bellevue-Everett-Tacoma, Wash. area on the list of top 10 unwired regions are San Francisco-San Jose-Oakland, Calif. (No. 2); Austin, Texas (No. 3); Portland, Ore.-Vancouver, Wash. (No. 4); Toledo, Ohio (No. 5); Atlanta (No. 6); Denver (N o. 7); Raleigh-Durham, N.C. (No. 8); Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn. (No. 9) and Orange County, Calif. (No.10). Making the biggest jump over last year, Baton Rouge , La. climbed 67 spots to crack the top 20. The complete list of Intel's "Most Unwired Cities" is available at http://www.intel.com/go/unwiredcities
In addition to identifying the top unwired regions, the survey found increasing diversity in the types of places where WiFi is being offered, including:
-- Legacy Golf Resort - Phoenix
-- Kansas Speedway - Kansas City , Kan.
-- Chelsea Piers - New York
-- Loveland Ski Area - Georgetown , Colo.
-- SBC Park - San Francisco
-- Dirtwood Skatepark - Houston
-- King County Library - Seattle
-- Waveland Bowl - Chicago
About the Survey
Survey findings for the 2005 "Most Unwired Cities" are based on the number of commercial and public or "free" wireless access points (hotspots), airports with wireless access, and broadband availability. The survey also included community wireless access points, local wireless networks and wireless e-mail devices. The metro areas included in the survey were the 100 largest in the United States and based on the definitions of Metropolitan Statistical Areas from the U.S. Census Bureau. The data was also calculated at the per-capita level to determine how many people share hotspots within a given city or region. Data was collected from a variety of industry sources between Jan. 1 and April 15, 2005 and weighted across a 100-point scale to allow comparison between categories.