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Thursday, January 19, 2006

WiFi Access

An article on the BBC News website today suggests that WiFi is "slow to enthuse consumers". The report by Toshiba suggests that only 11% of people used WiFi away from home, while at home over 50% used WiFi to access the internet.

Personally I don't think for a second that it's a case of lack of enthusiams by consumers which is stopping people getting on line on their laptops when away from home. I'd love to be able to logon when I'm out and about especially since I just got a WiFi enabled mobile phone. I did a little bit of research using the WiFi alliance web site which lists WiFi hot spots in the UK (as well as the rest of the world). Within a 2 mile radius of my home there are 6 hotspots, all of which in pubs. While I enjoy going to the pub it's the last place I want to take my £1000 laptop for the evening. Extending the search to 20 a mile radius and I'm up to 251 and this time there are a few coffee shops but few in a place I'm actually likely to be.

Be here comes the point, I then check for free hotspots, there are just 2 in a 20 miles radius. Checking the price plans for the pay services reveal that it's going to cost me cira £30 a month to get connected. Add on top of that the £2 for a coffee or £3 for a pint of beer I'll have to pay to sit in the pub of cafe while surfing and that soon starts to add up. Add that on to the £20 I'm already paying for internet access at home and thats a hell of a lot of money.

Perhaps the headline should have been....

"Cost of WiFi fails to enthuse consumers"

BBC News : Wi-fi slow to enthuse consumers


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