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"This is a predictive tool I've used: There are goals we've sought for ten thousand years, and we'll go on seeking them. Instant transport and travel, immortality (or at least longevity and miracle cures.), instant learning "
- Larry Niven

Wireless Access Point  
  Infrastructure that provides power and wireless communication.  

On his second walk with Mr. Barnstaple he said he was going to hear from his mother, and Mr. Barnstaple was shown the equivalent of correspondence in Utopia. Crystal carried a little bundle of wires and light rods; and presently coming to a place where a pillar stood in the midst of a lawn he spread this affair out like a long cat's cradle and tapped a little stud in the pillar with a key that he carried on a light gold chain about his neck. Then he took up a receiver attached to his apparatus, and spoke aloud and listened and presently heard a voice. It was a very pleasant woman's voice; it talked to Crystal for a time without interruption, and then Crystal talked back, and afterwards there were other voices, some of which Crystal answered and some which he heard without replying. Then he gathered up his apparatus again. This Mr. Barnstaple learnt was the Utopian equivalent of letter and telephone. For in Utopia, except by previous arrangement, people do not talk together on the telephone. A message is sent to the station of the district in which the recipient is known to be, and there it waits until he chooses to tap his accumulated messages. And any that one wishes to repeat can be repeated. Then he talks back to the senders and dispatches any other messages he wishes. The transmission is wireless. The little pillars supply electric power for transmission or for any other purpose the Utopians require
From Men Like Gods, by H.G. Wells.
Published by Not known in 1923
Additional resources -

As a sidenote, the first public (coin-operated!) telephone was installed in Hartford, Connecticut in 1892. So the idea of going to a public "pillar" and obtaining phone service was hardly new in 1923. Wireless telephony had also been demonstrated by this time. But the idea of a network of wireless access points for public use - we're stil working on that one. See this story StreetNet: Brussels Provides Free WiFi at Internet Kiosks.

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  More Ideas and Technology from Men Like Gods
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