Community WiFi, established, by Kevin Schazt, is available throughout most of downtown and the intersection of 5th and Ivy. Its ESSID is "Community WiFi" and can be found at over 50 within Chico and Paradise. Often you'll see a yellow triangle with big bold words expressing the fact it is available on store or restaurant front windows. Coffee houses such as The Naked Lounge offer their own WiFi, but quite often Community WiFi can be picked up from within such establishments, although the signal is can be variable from very weak to strong.
Schazt maintains the wireless equipment allowing businesses to keep focused on their core services and products. Its paid for by advertisements as you surf the web, so there's no cost to local businesses other than finding a place to put the equipment. Be aware that since an encryption key is not used to access the service, it is not a secure network, which means there's a potential for data to be intercepted and processed by a malicious user.
Community WiFi locations: