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Why Managed Wi-Fi is Wonderful!

February 16th, 2012 by shannon

Here at SkyBlox we think Wi-Fi is wonderful here are some reasons why

• The free flow of information makes the world a better place

• Consistency of product leads to higher customer satisfaction

• Giving your customers free success to the internet shows you appreciate them. Customers who feel appreciated come back

• Bringing business out of the cubicle and into the real world allows for greater social interaction which can lead to greater business opportunities for both you and your customers.

• There is peace of mind in knowing you have an expert on speed dial.

Why SkyBlox Managed Wi-Fi is extra Wonderful

• SkyBlox Managed Wi-Fi allows you to communicate with your customers directly, no waiting until your web site guy is available or time lost printing up marketing materials. It gives you one more way to bring home your marketing message and bring your customers back for more
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• All of our devices are 100% PCI compliant. This means that unlike just plugging in some off the shelf Wi-Fi router our routers can be securely run side by side with all major credit card processing systems.

• There are few value added services which provide such high customer satisfaction for so low a price

• Our excellent customer service has been helping our customers provide their customers with excellent customer service since 2008.

We would love the opportunity to make your Wi-Fi worry free

Check out our simple guide to getting service started with SkyBlox today!

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Nashville, here we come!

April 26th, 2010 by PhilD

Hard to believe we’ve logged two successful years of local WiFi in Atlanta! With our wireless hotspots, we’ve given laptops, iPhones and other such handheld devices the ability to browse hyper-local, location-based content as they sip coffee, enjoy lunch, and frequent their favorite local businesses. Our content can’t be found anywhere else but through SkyBlox, and these local businesses have been given a pretty cool new way to keep their mobile customers updated. Bars advertise fun, upcoming events. Restaurants post their fresh-out-the-oven specials. Retail stores update their shoppers with their newest, snazziest inventory.

And now that we’ve conquered one city, we’re bringing our wireless goodness to Nashville!

We’re seriously excited about the opportunity to share our platform with a new market — especially one with such a unique and happening local scene like Nashville. And with our affordable, one-of-a-kind, locally-managed platform, we think we’re going to fit in quite well with the new neighborhood. So be sure to tell all your favorite local spots about Skyblox! They may not know about us yet, but if they offer WiFi (or are interested in offering it), we’d love to provide a more powerful, more secure option for their wireless internet. And not only that, but the added opportunity to keep regulars and new customers up-to-date with what’s happening on their local scene.

If you have any questions, please email us at

And, to all the great citizens and local businesses of Nashville: we’ll be seeing you soon!

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Posted in Expansion, Nashville | Comments Off

RIP Local Paper

November 2nd, 2009 by admin

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Everyone knows the newspaper industry is having a rough time lately.  Between the economic climate, advertisers drying up and content increasingly going online, it's getting more and more difficult for a local paper to sustain itself.  Covering the expensive costs of writing, printing and delivering paper editions has put a few papers out of business.  A site called Newspaper Death Watch is even “chronicling the decline of newspapers”.  We got wind this week that Denver residents are taking a stand for the local paper holding a candlelight vigil for the Rocky Mountain News, the city's 150-year-old paper.

Newspapers will survive in one form or another. Recently we ran across a very unique approach from The Printed Blog. But regardless of what emerges, neighborhood businesses and local residents are increasingly moving their “voice” online.

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Only a few years ago, the local paper was the only place you could find hyper-local happenings.  What everyone who loves neighborhoods agrees on is that those business and residents need a platform – to communicate and to stay in the loop.

We believe that the future isn't one monolithic media source. It will be many, smaller sources. Do you own a restaurant? You better participate in Yelp. A live music venue? MySpace. You want to offer Wi-Fi? SkyBlox. Instead of one ad for $500 per month in one local paper, local businesses will increasingly pay smaller amounts across a number of platforms. Or use their free offerings.

These methods are the best ways to reach the mobile, higher-demographic customers that every business desires.

We'll miss the weekend paper and cup of coffee as much as anyone.


Posted in Advertising, Michael, neighborhoods | 4 Comments »

SkyBlox Named to Network World's 2009 List of Mobile/Wireless Companies Worth Watching

October 17th, 2009 by admin

After our financing round hit the New York Times technology section this past August, we received a bunch of calls and emails from publications and blogs around the country.  That notoriety caught the eye of Network World, who put us on their list of 2009 Wireless and Mobile Companies Worth Watching.  Pretty neat stuff for our humble company.

Company name: SkyBlox

Founded: Early 2008

Location: Atlanta

What it offers: SkyBlox is a throwback created by several survivors from Earthlink's failed municipal Wi-Fi business: it offers indoor Wi-Fi hotspot services to local businesses to meet the growing demand for Wi-Fi-equipped smartphones. About 70% of SkyBlox non-laptop traffic is from the iPhone. The venue's visitors or customers can jump on a free, open wireless connection at the site, and also see information on the venue, and an updateable list of events and promotions on the site's Web page. SkyBlox intends to create an interconnected cluster of local content from surrounding SkyBlox-enabled locations. It's hyperlocal free Wi-Fi for users, coupled with a private back-end Wi-Fi network for employees, all as a managed-service utility, for $50 per month at each site.

Why it's worth watching: Wi-Fi is rapidly becoming a utility, an expectation or even an assumption for the mobile generation. SkyBlox makes it simple and affordable for a business to deploy it. But it's going further — instead of focusing on creating Web sites for a pizza place or coffee shop, SkyBlox is helping businesses plug into the trend to localize social networking sites and tools, and exploit capabilities such as SMS. You can set up a site on Yelp and respond (and listen) to what reviewers say; create a business Facebook account; post an event or promotion and invite friends. The company also hopes to become the digital wireless equivalent of a neighborhood newspaper, providing a locus for current, local information  and paid ads, directly relevant to users.

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How the company got its start: Founder David Payne and a handful of other Earthlink Wi-Fi veterans left when the company prepared to shut down its Wi-Fi business. Though they considered a move such as buying the outdoor municipal Wi-Fi network in Philadelphia or New Orleans, they concluded that local-focused indoor service for small businesses was a viable model.

How the company got its name: Wi-Fi is the means to an end: creating a virtual guide to the neighborhood “blocks” of a city.

CEO and background: Payne was Earthlink's director of Wi-Fi strategy, and previously its director of corporate development. Previously, he was director of strategic growth at, an online company founded in 1998 that promised free one-hour delivery of just about everything. Its fate was portrayed in the 2001 documentary “e-Dreams.”

Funding: An undisclosed amount from an anonymous angel investor through a very private equity investment firm, SGIO LLC. Some of the funds were paid via Twitpay, the first use of this Twitter-based payment service for investing.

Who uses the product: Users in Atlanta, Chicago, Denver and Austin, Texas, are making use of just under 200 SkyBlox wireless routers.


Posted in General, Michael | 1 Comment »

SkyBlox Raises First Round of Funding Becoming The First Startup Ever Funded Via Twitter

August 18th, 2009 by admin

skyblox logo

ATLANTA, GA–(Marketwire – August 19, 2009) – If you've been in a restaurant or retail store around Atlanta and accessed the Internet while you were there, chances are you've been introduced to SkyBlox. Started in early 2008 by members of the former EarthLink Wi-Fi team, SkyBlox quickly became the largest provider of Wi-Fi in Atlanta with additional operations in Austin, Chicago & Denver. SkyBlox manages a first-of-its-kind mobile platform that allows local businesses to communicate with their mobile customers in real time.

SGIO LLC, a private equity investment firm specializing in early-stage technology focused startups, invested an undisclosed amount. DLA Piper advised SkyBlox on the transaction.

SkyBlox used Twitpay, another Atlanta-based startup, to facilitate a portion of the investment. This makes SkyBlox the first company ever funded via Twitter, the hugely successful social media platform. “SkyBlox's concept of combining wireless and local content has proven to be an innovative model. Using Twitter for this transaction is just another example of their creative approach,” said Lance Weatherby, an ATDC Startup Catalyst.

Twitter link:

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“We've been using Wi-Fi for the past year to make our mark on the local online space. This investment allows SkyBlox to build an even more powerful platform to capitalize on the growth of mobile devices and create a sustainable local online business model,” says SkyBlox Founder & CEO Dave Payne.


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SkyBlox, Citysearch & Yelp Holding Town Hall Meetings

July 13th, 2009 by admin

Ever since we started SkyBlox in late 2007, we've been thrust into the local online media scene and become de facto experts in the process. Always looking to support local businesses we teamed up with our friends over at Citysearch and Yelp in the past few months to conduct social media town hall meetings at local chambers of commerce and business associations.

The main theme of the sessions is how local businesses/neighborhoods should best wade their way through the wild west that is social online media. Many businesses are participating, but not efficiently in most cases. Simply participating at a basic level doesn't guarantee positive results. It has to be done right. And we think we have some helpful ideas. The ideas and thoughts have been well received by the neighborhood businesses so we put together a primer. Here's a summary.

#1 Your website is fine, but it is becoming less useful. Aggregation websites (e.g. Citysearch) and new technology (e.g. text messages) are more relevant to your target customers. Your customers are rarely going to your individual website. Google yourself and see what websites come up in the top three: it’s often not your website, rather Yelp or Citysearch.

#2 Setup a Twitter account. Twitter is the fastest growing online tool right now and it’s 100% free. Setting-up an account only takes a few minutes. Once you do, search for people in your neighborhood (or interested in your neighborhood) and follow them.

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#3 Use the free tools offered by Yelp. Go to to set up your free account and claim your business’ page. Upload pictures of your business, check to make sure your address, website, and store hours are correct. Send private messages or post publicly in response to your reviewers.

#4 Setup a free SkyBlox account. Whatever you broadcast will be seen in their 100+ hotspots around Atlanta. And if you offer Wi-Fi, you might want to consider their Wi-Fi marketing. Besides being able to advertise in real-time to your Wi-Fi users, SkyBlox Wi-Fi allows you to gather email addresses from your Wi-Fi users (e.g. iPhones) for your email newsletter.

#5 Facebook can be great for invites to events. It takes just a few clicks to set up an event, then invite everyone you are friends with to come, which then gives you yes-no-maybe boxes like an evite.

#6 With all of these online tools, the content should be relevant to your customers and you should be having fun putting it out. If not, it’s unlikely that your customers will care about it.

And the most basic, but effective tool…

#7 If you don’t already have one, email newsletters are very popular and effective and there are lots of programs (e.g. Constant Contact) that make them very easy to produce. Even if your newsletter is a monthly sent to your basic friends and family, this still gets the word out in one quick note.


Posted in Advertising, Michael, neighborhoods, thoughts, twitter | 1 Comment »

Metrotainment's 10 Restaurants Join the SkyBlox Network

June 23rd, 2009 by admin

There's no better validation of the power of mobile consumers in the local space than when one of the largest and most respected restaurant chains in Atlanta joins your network.  Metrotainment Cafes', the company behind long-standing popular eateries Einstein's, Cowtipper's, Cheyenne Grille, Joe's, Garrison's and Hudson Grille, became the latest restaurant concept to offer SkyBlox's neighborhood Wi-Fi.

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iPhone and laptop users will now be able to connect to the fast and secure SkyBlox connection for free at all 10 locations.  While connected, Metrotainment mobile customers will get local deals and happenings right on their device as well as on email and Twitter.  These real-time updates generated by the managers of each restaurant were important to the marketing minds at Metrotainment, the quickly growing chain with restaurants in 8 different Atlanta neighborhoods.

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Posted in Atlanta, Michael, New Customers | Comments Off

Flying Biscuit Partners With SkyBlox

May 19th, 2009 by dave

This week SkyBlox inked a deal to provide Wi-Fi in Flying Biscuit locations, a very popular Raving Brands concept. We are always excited to work with local chains…especially ones that have fantastic biscuits!

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So next time you are in the mood for a hearty breakfast in eclectic and artistic surroundings, give them a try. You’ll enjoy Wi-Fi like it has never been done before.

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Coincidence? We Think Not…

May 9th, 2009 by dave

At the end of every day I search the Internet for stories about Wi-Fi. Most days the stories don’t tell much of a narrative, but today I ran across three articles in a row that – read together – provide a good snapshot of where Wi-Fi is going in 2009 (and why more local businesses should promote it).

The first story comes from the yearly mega-convention that is currently happening in Las Vegas, the Consumer Electronics Show. Sarah Reedy, a reporter for TelephonyOnline, reports that Wi-Fi on handheld devices grew 26% in 2008! Analyst believe that in the next few years there will be two handheld Wi-Fi devices per person in the United States.

The second story by PJ Jacobowitz in describes Sony’s new Wi-Fi camera. What makes this one special is a fully-functioning browser, allowing this camera to connect to Wi-Fi hotspots like SkyBlox.

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Finally, I ran across an article by Sewell Chan in The New York Times about the outdoor Wi-Fi networks that are being closed in New York City. I could spend hours reading about the failure of outdoor Wi-Fi networks, but this one does just fine. Bottom line…outdoor Wi-Fi does not have a viable business case. What does this mean to small businesses? Your Wi-Fi is becoming more valuable to your customers by the day!

Taken together, these articles paint a picture of a world where phones, gaming devices, cameras, etc all have Wi-Fi, but access to free Wi-Fi is decreasing, so more-and-more consumers will choose neighborhoods and local businesses based on access to free Wi-Fi for all of their cool devices.

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Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

The Second City Becomes Our Fourth City

April 1st, 2009 by admin

We're happy to announce that Chicago will be our fourth market launched, joining Atlanta, Denver & Austin as SkyBlox neighborhood Wi-Fi cities.

When considering expansion markets, a couple of key factors were important to us. City metrics and SkyBlox-specific criteria like Yelp reviews, walkability and number of Wi-Fi hotspots were big. Chicago got top marks in all of those categories.

Large metropolitan area. Check. Neighborhood-centric market. Check. Solid technology usage. Check. Good City Manager candidate. Double check.

More about our brand new Chicago City Manager. Jelena Zanko knows Chicago as well as the Mayor. She appreciates local happenings and has written 400 Yelp reviews to prove it. There's no better person to build buzz in Chicago than Jelena.

- Sign up for “5 Cool Things in Chicago” weekly email
- Follow the SkyBlox Chicago Twitter feed

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Posted in Chicago, Expansion, Michael, New Hire, twitter | 1 Comment »

A New City & A New Addition To The Team

February 26th, 2009 by dave

Late last year

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a chain in Austin called asking us to setup their Wi-Fi, so we launched Austin on our site. This began a process to evaluate how we might take our Atlanta success on the road. So after a great deal of analysis of the top 50 metro areas in the U.S. we have formulated a plan to launch a few cities in early 2009.

As all good expansion models do, we looked at standard metrics like population, population density, age, income and the like. Then we added SkyBlox-specific criteria like Yelp reviews, walkability and number of Wi-Fi hotspots. A half-dozen cities came out on top. While we aren't ready to let the world know our full expansion plans, we are ready to announce our first city.

This week we are launching SkyBlox Denver! Not only that, but we spent weeks pouring over literally hundreds of resumes and days in Denver interviewing dozens of candidates to find the perfect Denver City Manager.

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This week Jarred Frank joined the SkyBlox team. Jarred is responsible for growing the SkyBlox hotspot network in Denver and ongoing management of all facets of that market.

We couldn't be more excited about Denver and more happy with our newest City Manager. Denver businesses are about to have a whole new way to communicate with potential customers.


Posted in Denver, Expansion, New Hire | 1 Comment »

Happy Holidays from the SkyBlox Team

December 23rd, 2008 by dave

Just a quick note from the SkyBlox Team to wish everyone a happy holiday.

As many of you know, we began SkyBlox a year ago with one goal in mind…using Wi-Fi to help strengthen the neighborhoods that we all love. In the next five years there will be two handheld Wi-Fi devices per person in the U.S. (the iPhone is just one example). Wouldn't it be great if small businesses – many of which have a hard time spreading the word about their happenings – could use their existing Wi-Fi to communicate with mobile users all over town? This is why we started SkyBlox and now over 100 businesses in over 20 neighborhoods in Atlanta are participating.

So whether you use SkyBlox Free Wi-Fi on your iPhone, go to to find real-time neighborhood happenings, you receive our daily Twitter feeds or our weekly “best of Atlanta” email we are so thankful to each of you for all of the support we have received over the past year.

Thank you for helping us help your neighborhoods.

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Posted in General, Holidays, partners | Comments Off

Mama Fu's Partners With SkyBlox

December 8th, 2008 by admin

Mama Fu's Asian House now features SkyBlox Wi-Fi, starting with their newly opened Downtown Austin location.  Austin-based Murphy Adams Restaurant Group, which owns the Mama Fu’s brand, named one of Nation's Restaurant News' 50 fastest-growing franchises in America in 2004, has selected SkyBlox to manage their Wi-Fi and as a platform to communicate daily happenings to potential customers.

Mama Fu's serves fast casual Asian inspired food in authentic wok-cooked dishes and noodle bowls and has plans to open 150 more locations across the Southeast U.S. by 2013.

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So come get some “Good Fu” and enjoy some free Wi-Fi.


Posted in Austin, Michael, partners | Comments Off

How To Weather The Rough Economy

December 1st, 2008 by dave

We recently ran

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across Scott Trubey's Atlanta Business Chronicle article on how restaurants are using creative deals & specials to weather the current downturn.

Now that we are officially in a recession, we believe more and more local businesses will have to be creative. Just last week we met with a local salon owner that told us that he has completely cut all citywide advertising. He is only using two tactics this month…SkyBlox and the Agnes Scott newspaper (a nearby college).

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We hear the same things more-and-more around town…”inexpensive,” “targeted advertising,” “potential customers within a few miles of my business.”

For the same price as one small weekly placement in Creative Loafing you can receive an entire year of SkyBlox Wi-Fi Marketing! There is nothing more local, targeted and cost-effective.

Or create an account and post for free! Why would anyone turn down free advertising in this economy?


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Posted in Advertising, Atlanta Business Chronicle, Dave, General, thoughts | Comments Off

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