RE: [evonline2002_webheads] Wireless at the convention?
First of all, I hope you will join us sometime on Wednesday night for the
Fiesta. We should be at the Houston Street Bistro until 10:00CST/04:00GMT
(or at least some of us will), and we would be honored by your presence.
In my efforts to find a suitable place to set up a WiFi connection suitable
for this meeting, I had occasion to look into potential sites all over
downtown San Antonio. San Antonio and Austin, Texas are a little more than
60 miles apart physically, but electronically or at least in terms of WiFi
connections, they are worlds apart. Austin has a huge community of users
who have literally put Austin on the map in terms of WiFi use. San Antonio,
on the other hand seems to be having some difficulty figuring out what WiFi
is and whether or not they have it, and if they have it, how many body parts
they are going to charge you for using it.
First, I want to express my frustration at the City of San Antonio. San
Antonio is the eighth largest city in the US, and I found it very difficult
to find anyone in the city offices directory who could actually tell me
where the best WiFi internet access was and even then, I got the impression
that although the gentleman found answers to my questions, that my queries
were sort of put to an "informal office vote" as to whether a locale had
WiFi access and especially as to whether such access was free or not.
Even when I found someone helpful, I had problems. The young law student at
Cranford WiFi, understood what I was looking for but he was very difficult
to catch at home and offered to send me a list of the best WiFi restaurants
in San Antonio, but said list never arrived and I never got a call back. I
made several calls to him, and instead wound up talking to his wife, who had
apparently took my messages and sought answers from him, because the next
time I called back she would pretty much have an answer for me. They both
warned me that both the Convention Center and the Marriott Hotels had fairly
expensive hookups. Their site :
http://www.geocities.com/cranjoford/wifi.html was one of the best sources of
information, and again, I don't want to diminish the mistakes they made, but
instead I'd rather believe that he was simply busy at school and that this
side business was not his primary interest. I really did appreciate his
wife's attempt to answer my inquiries. He also hosts a page of all free
WiFi access in San Antonio, and at one point told me that we could host the
Fiesta at his house since he had good WiFi for free
I also inquired at the Marriot River Walk convention information system
about connections within the Marriot Hotels (there are but four of them on
the river walk). There appeared to be much confusion about what I was
asking for, but I found that each individual room is supplied with free high
speed internet access, and the common areas have WiFi connections. I was
told that none of the restaurants in the Hotels had WiFi, though that is a
bit hard to believe (especially if the common areas are wired) and that the
common areas have no places to hold a meeting or to eat. Additionally, WiFi
access in the common areas was rather costly. I believe it was 20.00 plus
dollars for the first hour and then over 3.00 per minute thereafter. Maybe
someone check this out while they are there. You may want to look at this
comment before you rely on Marriott for your connection:
I had also seen information that the old Market Square or El Mercado had
free WiFi access. The University of Texas at San Antonio is on one side of
the square and it has WiFi. A couple of the Restaurants on the Square also
have WiFi, but when I called them to set up the Fiesta meeting, I was told
that we had to eat there and after the meal we would have to leave. I did
not believe this would be appropriate for an extended get together. It
maybe that the WiFi from the University bleeds over into the Market Plaza
but no one could confirm that the out door common areas had WiFi or how
much it might cost.
Finally, a friend of mine suggested that I contact SBCGlobal telephone
services since their primary office is in San Antonio. SBC, it appears is
rapidly expanding their services and WiFi and VOIP services are two areas
that are growing rapidly for them. I visited their website at
service is called FreedomLink and is still in it's infancy. However, since
they are San Antonio based, there was a pretty good list of places where one
could purchase a FreedomLink connection. It was through their map of WiFi
hotspots that I found the information about the Houston Street Bistro
Restaurant where the Webhead Fiesta is to be held:
http://olfsbc.pctel.com/OnlineLocationFinder . I am still holding my
judgment about SBC, but I found them helpful and pretty knowledgeable about
the information I needed.
This is probably the most comprehensive list of WiFi hotspots in San
Antonio. Please note that under the Marriot River Walk Hotels there is a
Deceptive Practices tag.
I hope this will help you in your quest to find a good source of WiFi at the
TESOL convention. If would please, let us know by going to the Webhead
Fiesta blog and responding to this message.
http://elderboblog.typepad.com/fiesta/ In fact, I encourage anyone with any
knowledge gained from the TESOL conference to come back and post a response
here so that future Webheads won't have as much difficulty as I did, finding
suitable environs for a virtual meet-up.
Helping folks understand that it's never too late to become all they ever
wanted to be!
From: not_ants [mailto:not_ants@...]
Sent: Sunday, March 27, 2005 7:11 PM
Subject: [evonline2002_webheads] Wireless at the convention?
Does anyone know if there is any wireless internet access at the
convention in San Antonio? I'd like to bring my laptop.
For more information:
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