Home & Yard Blvd. Section
Hello. My name is Chris, and I have a problem. If my memory serves me, I always have lived in the intoxicating grip of the World Wide Web. From the moment I booted my first IBM, and loaded CompuServe, I have been hooked. Mosaic changed my life. I’ve had e-mail addresses since age 9.
I covered my addiction with decoys—“Reader Rabbit” and “Math Blaster”—learning quickly to switch screens with a single keystroke at the sound of a door handle. Glossy eyes, chipped hunt-and-peck index fingernails, and arousal by dot matrix—all the signs were there. I scoffed at my parents’ lack of understanding and technological prepubescence. The Web was for my generation, and I’d be damned if I’d let them have any.
I’ve come a long way since then. No longer forced into a dark corner of the guest bedroom, my Internet is free to roam with me—anywhere, that is, within range of my Airport Extreme. My addiction is fueled in coffee shops, Laundromats, airport terminals, and Holiday Inns.
But it’s getting expensive. A $6 usage fee on top of my Venti Soy Latte is a bit steep. Layovers pose a similar problem. I started in the Lindbergh Terminal Caribou, but the Seattle’s Best offers the only Internet available in McCarran’s smoking lounge. So be it. Visa: It’s everywhere I want the Internet to be.
I, therefore, avow: I have come to understand that a greater power must be at work—one that can sort out my needs, and offer me the kind of Internet I so truly desire.
USI Wireless, help me to take the next step.
Last summer, my brethren, Minneapolis became one of the first cities to go completely WiFi. USI Wireless is the company behind this ambitions undertaking. It differs from similar providers in that service is completely wireless. No DSL, no Cable modem…just wireless. USI is one of few companies in the nation to attempt a project of this magnitude. Its goal is to blanket the entire 59 square miles of Minneapolis with seamless wireless Internet.
“It’s a whole new service and a new technology. We’ve got all eyes on us,” USI Sales and Customer Service Director Sam Turner says.
Already well on its way, USI’s current coverage spans an impressive 97 percent of the city, with the remaining problem areas soon to follow. The network of thousands of individual nodes perched atop skyscrapers and stoplights throughout the city allows users access both at home and on the go.
USI seeks two types of customers: the “nomad” user roams Downtown bistros, laptop in hand, corresponding with workmates over a soup ’n’ sandwich combo; the “home” user kicks back for a night of MySpace and online Yahtzee. USI’s technology lets both users access their connection anywhere in the city for a single monthly fee. Though the company suggests using an external modem to boost the signal for some home users, it is not always necessary.
The sort of flexibility offered by USI is unique and encouraging. It allows users more freedom than ever before at a third the price of most broadband providers. With a variety or speeds, plans, and access options, one is sure to be a fit for you. Currently, the network is only available in Minneapolis, but if it is successful, this type of service soon may be found in cities around the globe.
“We’ve been talking to several cities. Richfield is one of them,” Turner explains.
In the future, the company plans to expand even further. USI not only offers wireless Internet to individuals, but also has partnered with the city to help emergency agencies augment their existing network. Citywide broadband would allow police and firefighters immediate access to building information and onsite security feeds.
Because USI’s network is available to so many people, it could become a valuable public-notification system. Last August, during the aftermath of the I-35W bridge collapse, it provided free access to anyone within range as an alternative to snarled phone lines, and proved citywide wireless to be a valuable resource.
So, upon completion of my final step, I carry these truths to you: USI Wireless, the provider, has changed the way I experience the Internet. I have come to understand that a better way exists to feed my hunger for knowledge—and gossip; a new way to lol and omg whenever I please; and, finally, a freer way to cope with my addiction, wherever it takes me.
12450 Wayzata Blvd. Ste. 121, Minnetonka