Coffee Shops Unplug Laptop Users; WiMAX Plugs Them Back In

You may have seen the recent report from The Wall Street Journal on how many coffee shops in New York City are putting an end to computer usage in their stores. For those of us, especially people who may work from home and want a change of scenery, or students taking a break from the library, coffee shops and laptops go hand-in-hand. In fact, it’s rare to be in a coffee shop and not see someone on their computer and more than likely, on the Internet the majority of that time.

While it is understandable shops are frustrated people will sit in their store for hours, buying only a cup of coffee, there is an alternative to banning laptops from cafes. Like a dog tethered to a leash, consumers are restricted when it comes to Wi-Fi hot spots, normally found inside, when trying to get on the Internet. But here is the shameless plug… mobile WiMAX is just that – mobile!

When a story like this is written, it reminds me how lucky I am to live in Portland, OR where WiMAX is a reality and the combination of coffee shops and the Internet are so last season. I can use my computer and get a super-fast wireless broadband connection while sitting outside on a park bench, riding the MAX public transportation or even on the freeway at 60 miles an hour (in the passenger seat of course). In places like Baltimore, people can even connect to the Internet with WiMAX on boats!

With WiMAX, the possibilities for connectivity are endless. In addition to my own fair city, Baltimore, Las Vegas and Atlanta can enjoy WiMAX today and Clearwire is slated to launch service in New York next year, so soon New Yorkers can soon have their coffee and log on too!

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