Seattle tops SF in 'unwired' survey

Tech Culture

Seattle is known for the Space Needle, its dark coffee, inclement weather and now being the Most Unwired City in America, according to a new survey contracted by Intel.

San Francisco dropped to the No. 2 spot after taking the crown last year. Austin, Texas; Portland, Ore.-Vancouver, Wash.; and Toledo, Ohio round out the top five cities with people that live for their Wi-Fi. This is the third time that Intel has sponsored the contest as a promotion for its Centrino brand of 802.11-compatible processors and its hotspot validation program.

A separate poll commissioned by Intel and conducted by Harris Interactive shows that almost one in five (18 percent of those surveyed) online adult computer users in the United States have connected to the Internet using a hotspot located in a public place.

Some of the more interesting hotspot finds in the survey include the Legacy Golf Resort in Phoenix; the Kansas Speedway; Loveland Ski Area in Georgetown, Colorado and the Dirtwood Skatepark in Houston.

Hmmm. Shredding and surfing. That's a new one for me. It was a no brainer when Starbucks served up some piping hot wireless courtesy of T-Mobile. When McDonalds launched its hotspot initiative, an analyst friend of mine commented that the regular Big Mac crowd probably wouldn't be the ones with laptops in tow. I tend to think of Wi-Fi as one of those elemental forces like air, water and French fries.

Now, Intel is working on promoting its next generation Centrino chip code-named Dothan as well as its 802.16 WiMax broadband technology.

More people are expected to join the Wi-Fi community. Market research firm IDC predicts that wireless-enabled laptop PCs will represent 100 percent of laptop PC sales in 2007.

So Seattle is unwired eh? Being from the San Francisco area, I take this one personal. But of course there is always next year.

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