Digitalis Americana – Wi-Fi Access on Vacation

Being away does not mean being gone.

When I originally wrote this article, I was visiting one of my favorite vacation spots in the United States: Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. I am shocked that a paucity of public life line networks the coffee shop down the road from our resort offers free wireless Internet service and the sundry store on the other side of the shopping doubles as an Internet café, selling access for $6.00 a day.

One of the Marriott facilities has a public a spot in the lobby, and that is about it. I’ve run across over a dozen guests with notebook computers; how many more could there be a who haven’t brought their computers down to the pool? What is the facility manager thinking? I wonder if there are 100 or more guests who would jump at the chance to get on the net for a bit–there are four of us, just in my vacation party.

I am disappointed that there are not more public wi-fi hot spots on the island. The hot spot that I found in our resort’s lobby is not really designed to be accessed by notebook computers,rather it is for owners of wireless digital cameras that would like to access the photo printer.
The owner of sundries store in the shopping plaza a half mile from our resort is friendly enough, and he opens the store early in the morning, at 6 o’clock. However, in order to use his wi-fi network to log into my class newsgroups or to check e-mail or the day’s news, I have to either walk with my backpack down to the plaza or jump in the family van and drive off in either case I’m gone for my family for the better part of an hour or two, which is not something that I find appealing while on vacation.

I have spoken with resort manager few times over the last few years asking when wi fi network will be more readily accessible across the complex and I’ve received platitudes and broad promises that next year we should have wi-fi access available in each of the condos. To me, that’s just not a good answer, given the business climate in which were expected to be accessible for at least a few minutes, each day.

At this ski chalet that we visit each winter during Super Bowl weekend, wi-fi access is available, and I am able to maintain a consistent all be at abbreviated work schedule during that vacation. I feel much more comfortable during that vacation—even though I am really up each person—because I can check in with my classes very easily both first thing in the morning and again after dinner, and I stay up with national and international news by leaving my rss feed reader open on my notebook computer.

How does it work for you? Are you able to find wi-fi access when you’re on vacation?


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