The way we work has undergone a significant transformation, and it's evident that we won't be returning to the traditional office-centric approach. In the past, going to the office was the norm for everyone, however, now the landscape has evolved drastically. Nowadays, while many workplaces are considering implementing a 4-day workweek, others have wholeheartedly embraced pandemic-induced remote and hybrid work models.
These changes have not only boosted employee satisfaction but have also created new opportunities for leaders. These modern work models also empower both employees and employers to work from anywhere across the globe. But here's the catch – to make this flexibility work, you need a robust and reliable WiFi network. So, if you're planning a workation in the near future, we've got you covered. Check out this list of the top 10 cities with great WiFi networks, curated by Hosting Advice.
10 cities with the best WiFi networks:
1. Waco, Texas
Nestled between Austin and Dallas, Waco benefits from the infrastructure of these two major cities and their reliable internet connectivity to meet the needs of its population. Texas is also set to receive $3.3 billion in federal funds to expand its broadband infrastructure. Recently, Waco added several WiFi hotspots to provide free community WiFi. The city also boasts numerous cafes and coffee shops, such as Dichotomy Coffee & Spirits, providing comfortable workspaces for those looking to work outside of their homes during the day.
2. Springfield, Illinois
Springfield is strategically located, within a four-hour drive of Chicago and less than two hours from St. Louis and Indianapolis. It's situated at the confluence of these major metropolitan areas, which have diverse industries ranging from life sciences and manufacturing to IT and telecommunications, all of which heavily rely on robust technology and internet infrastructure. Illinois is also actively working to enhance broadband access through initiatives like Connect Illinois, which aims to allocate $420 million for the expansion and improvement of broadband services throughout the state.
3. Greensboro, North Carolina
In recent years, Greensboro and North Carolina have made significant investments in their technology infrastructure and internet connectivity, thanks to the efforts of the North Carolina Department of Information Technology’s Division of Broadband and Digital Equity. The goal is to ensure that high-speed internet is both affordable and accessible to residents. Greensboro is served by several reputable providers, and has a multitude of free WiFi hotspots, including fast-food restaurants, coffee shops, libraries, hotels, and cafes. For those seeking a pleasant work environment with complimentary WiFi and coffee, Green Joe’s Coffee Company is a local favourite.
4. Madison, Wisconsin
Madison, a college town and home to the University of Wisconsin, attracts numerous students from around the globe. Many graduates from the University choose to stay in Madison due to the opportunities in the state's manufacturing, healthcare, and IT industries. Wisconsin recently received a substantial $1 billion federal grant to expand its broadband infrastructure; however, Madison is already well-covered with high-speed fixed internet, as indicated by the state's broadband map. For those seeking a change of scenery from their usual workspace, Madison offers various options such as local libraries, campus venues, cafes, and restaurants for a productive day outside of the office.
5. Omaha, Nebraska
Omaha is situated near the Iowa border and conveniently located just three hours north of bustling Kansas City, making it an excellent midpoint for those inclined to explore further west than the other cities mentioned in this list. Notably, Nebraska ranks 16th in the availability of rural fibre internet in the United States, a noteworthy achievement since fibre-optic connectivity is typically associated with urban areas. Omaha's leading internet service providers include CenturyLink, Cox, and Viasat.
6. St. Paul, Minnesota
St. Paul places a strong emphasis on internet connectivity and infrastructure, thanks to Minnesota's Border to Border Broadband program. The most widely used internet service providers in the area include T-Mobile, CenturyLink, and Xfinity, with prices typically starting around $50 per month, in line with the local standard. Additionally, for those seeking public WiFi hotspots, St. Paul offers various options, including library branches, popular cafe chains like Starbucks, and locally-owned coffee shops, thanks to the presence of University of Minnesota students. And, not to be overlooked, the Mall of America is only a short 20-minute drive from downtown St. Paul.
7. West Valley City, Utah
Located 20 miles from the Crossroads of the West, West Valley City offers a rich tapestry of cultural experiences, breath-taking scenery, outdoor recreational opportunities, and affordable housing nestled in the mountains. For remote workers seeking outdoor workspaces, the city offers complimentary WiFi hotspots in parks, various buildings, and coworking venues such as Work Hive. During your leisure time, you can indulge in a plethora of outdoor activities, including skiing, hiking, camping, snowboarding, river rafting, rock climbing, and even hot-air ballooning.
8. Tucson, Arizona
In recent years, Tucson has witnessed notable enhancements in its internet infrastructure, with the tech industry experiencing substantial growth, expanding by 90% from 2014 to 2019. Today, several service providers offer high-speed internet options, including fiber-optic connectivity. Furthermore, the city has been actively working to extend broadband access to underserved regions. The city also offers an array of scenic views; however, for those seeking respite from the heat, there is an abundance of coffee shops, cafes, restaurants, and unique establishments like Bing's Boba Tea, all providing complimentary WiFi to customers. These venues offer an ideal setting to spend a day working while taking a break from the warm temperatures.
9. Chattanooga, Tennessee
Chattanooga holds the distinction of being among the early adopters in offering gigabit internet services to its residents. In 2010, the Electric Power Board, the city's utility company, introduced EPB Fiber Optics, delivering ultra-fast and dependable internet speeds of up to 1 Gbps. This substantial investment in fibre-optic networks and high-speed internet infrastructure has earned Chattanooga the moniker Gig City, a testament to its unwavering reliability. Given the active lifestyle of Chattanoogans, there are several popular coworking spaces within the city, providing an excellent option for those seeking an alternative to working from home on occasion.
10. Hartford, Connecticut
Hartford, serving as the state's capital, enjoys a strategic location between two major metropolitan areas: New York and Boston, each specialising in distinct industries, namely finance and healthcare. Consequently, the city benefits from excellent WiFi and broadband coverage, delivering reliable speeds. With the advent of the state's Broadband Deployment Program in 2022, approximately 99.4% of the state's population now has access to speeds of up to 10 Mbps. Moreover, Connecticut boasts an abundance of Dunkin' Donuts and Starbucks outlets, providing plenty of options for those seeking a straightforward spot to work with public WiFi. The only challenging decision you might face is choosing which one to visit.
As the world continues to adapt to new ways of working, these cities are setting the standard for what it means to stay connected and productive in a changing world.