The Wi-Fi Alliance today announced that the Wi-Fi Zone program has been adopted by over six thousand public access service locations in almost fifty counties. The Wi-Fi Zone program began in March of this year, and has participating locations ranging from hotels and coffee shops to RV parks and McDonald's restaurants.
The goal of the program is to help travelers find and stay connected when they travel -- whether they are down the street at the local cafe or on the other side of the world. The Wi-Fi Zone program has two primary elements -- an online database of Wi-Fi Zone locations and a common visual indicator -- the Wi-Fi Zone logo, which is displayed at locations and Web sites. There is no cost for providers to join the program and the signup process is online, but services must be based on Wi-Fi Certified equipment.
Many different types of service providers from around the world have joined the Wi-Fi Zone program because it provides them with association with Wi-Fi -- the world's dominant wireless LAN brand. Locations benefit from displaying this brand on their Web sites and their venues because customers already familiar with the Wi-Fi CERTIFED logo on their products will easily recognize the Wi-Fi Zone logo when entering or passing by a location. This is intended to be a clear indicator of service availability regardless of geographic area of the world -- much like international symbols for access telephone services, restaurants or hospital facilities. In fact, of all of the issues that are tracked by the program, the single most common complaint is that there is not a visual indicator of service availability at the location (e.g., a sign, banner or decal).