Public WiFi: Thank you, Georgia

Bet not too many outside deep geek circles know about this gem of Southern innovation:

Built up around the land grant university chartered there in 1785, Athens, Ga. is a college town, pure and simple. If it's known nationally, it's for being home to neo-hippie pop bands REM and the B-52s.

But on an April morning in 2002, the University of Georgia quietly started a telecommunications revolution, introducing the nation to the idea of municipally-sponsored wireless technology -- WiFi, a technology that prognosticators, major media, and ambitious politicians world-wide are hailing as the Next Big Thing in the evolution of the Internet.

Cities across the country, including Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Boston, are currently exploring their wireless connectivity options. The most promising of the initiatives, Philadelphia Wireless, is using the same technology developed in Athens and licensed from the University of Georgia.

Read the rest, it's a short but interesting look at how some "creative class" types and other free-thinkers in Athens got town WiFi going there.