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Free Wi-Fi For Everyone!

signal.pngSounds too good to be true, doesn’t it?

Well not in Osaka, Japan. According to their tourist info site, Osaka is officially Wi-Fi enabled city-wide. It’s funny to think how two non-words linked together can bring us so much joy (especially when preceded by everybody’s favorite word: Free!), but we all know it’s more than just that polysyllabic title that means so much to us: behind the word Wi-Fi is access to the world beyond our own backyard.

More than just enabling a Wi-Fi connection across the city, Osaka has given free Wi-Fi access to all of its citizens—a nearly unprecedented move in Japan, and a trend we certainly hope will catch on in the US. But why is free Wi-Fi such a big deal? Isn’t it just about saving a couple bucks each month?

A World Without the Web

Sadly, internet access is not a given—even in 2014. According to a study conducted by Pew research, published by the Guardian in January 2014, most lower-income Americans don’t have home access to the internet, and rely on the use of public libraries, coffee shops, and McDonalds restaurants that offer free Wi-Fi.

As the article points out, however, many students are still being required to publish and complete assignments online, which has in turn required such ingenuity for those students without access at home. And for classrooms with a majority of students without internet access, curriculums are forced to stay in the dark ages, and students aren’t able to keep up with competitors in better-off areas.

What we love so much about Osaka’s provision of free Wi-Fi across the city isn’t simply the fact that they’re saving their citizens a couple of yen every month: they are empowering students of every background to have the same opportunities for advancing their education, which in turn will make them more competitive worldwide. This is what we need for our students here in the States.

Making Do With What We’ve Got

In the mean time, the report also mentions that many of those students who don’t have Wi-Fi on computers at home are actually using their cellphones for internet access. At Atrixware, we’ve created an LMS that works across all platforms, so that whether students or employees do have access at home, your use of our software will enable you to empower your users to make the most out of their online experience.

Our charge to companies is this: while you may not be able to create access to the internet for everyone, you can do your best to develop online programs that are convenient, easy to use, and accessible across multiple platforms to help embolden your users and bring them the highest potential for success. Take a page out of our playbook, and trust our LMS to bring your organization into a successful, accessible 2014.

Our hope, and what cities like Osaka are accomplishing, is that we can get the most people online possible so that they can keep up with the times that are inevitably pushing us further and further into dependence on the internet.

And hopefully someday, we’ll be able to enjoy free Wi-Fi for everyone!

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