Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Wi-Fi in Galway?

I just saw a press release on ElectricNews.net discussing eGalway week. Much of it sounds like fluff, showing off the internet to people.
The event, which takes place this week, includes the Broadband Conference and Expo, which is due to kick off on Wednesday in the Radisson Hotel. Internet Service Providers, e-businesses, the public sector and international firms such as eBay will gather to demonstrate the possibilities the internet opens up to people, in an attempt to encourage people into adopting high-speed internet access.

However at the bottom of the release is an interesting little sentence
Meanwhile, Galway City Council has announced that Wi-Fi access will now be available at Eyre Square.

What exactly does "available" mean? Wi-Fi access is "available" all over Dublin, but it's commercial and you have to pay ridiculous charges. Is the Wi-Fi in Eyre Square free? Part of me suspects it isn't since they would have publicised it more if it was, but I'm very open to correction on the matter. If it is free then three cheers for Galway City Council for being more progressive and up to date than Dublin. Hopefully Dublin City Council would consider doing something similar on, for example, O'Connell Street and St Stephens Green. Remember, the free Wi-Fi that was around some telephone boxes a couple of years ago now seems to be pay for use, or it was when I tried a few weeks ago. By a happy coincidence I will be in Galway this weekend and will check, but if anyone already knows then please let me know.

Update 1 May: I was in Eyre Square over the weekend. I was able to detect several Wi-Fi networks but most were secure. The two open ones were an Eircom one that still required a username and password and one from a near-by hotel. I presume the Eircom one was the one being referred to in the press release. So no free Wi-Fi.

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