Barren Hot Spots

Easy to find Wi-Fi access can be very useful on the road. In the US, T-Mobile’s Starbucks-based networks is pretty convenient if you are in one of the covered major metros. For-pay hotspots are popping up all over including Europe and Asia. 802.11b Networking News has an interesting report from London by Tim Woolford,that mirrored my own experiences in the US. Woolford checked out British Telecom, T-Mobile and Megabeam hotspots in London. He found them pretty easy to use, except BT’s (why am I not surprised?) which required registration before you get to the hotspot location. Like my own hot spot experiences in Boston and San Francisco, he didn’t see anyone else at these locations using the service. Granted it’s early days in London, but I would expect to see more people using the services in Boston and San Francisco. Given the prices that major providers like T-Mobile and Boingo are charging, I guess it’s really not that surprising. If you are going to bother charging, which I’m not opposed to, make it reasonable enough that individuals don’t mind paying for on their own, say under $20 per month. That will drive widespread usage beyond the small group that can expense it.

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