Wi-Fi

Peter Cochrane's Uncommon Sense: Wi-Fi versus soap and towels

Why providers simply need to clean up their acts if they're to survive...
If you've travelled as much as Peter Cochrane, you probably have a fair idea what's good and bad about Wi-Fi provision around the world. Here he shares his insights. Providers - take note.

For some reason the last six weeks have seen me running at a pace close to that of 1999/2000, with daily international travel and communication on the fly. But the connectivity of my laptop to the rest of the world has moved from the fixed and mobile telephone at 9.6-56Kbps to LANs and Wi-Fi at more than 1Mbps.

I just visited nine cities in 14 days across North America and in eight of my hotels I was able to connect for free at speeds of between 3 and 6Mbps. Only one hotel charged - a modest $9 per day - to connect and there was always Wi-Fi in the lobby. Moreover 12 of the companies I visited offered a free LAN/Wi-Fi connection that was either inside or outside their firewall.

Returning to Europe it is hard to explain the level of frustration engendered by hotel rooms that don

About

Peter Cochrane is an engineer, scientist, entrepreneur, futurist and consultant. He is the former CTO and head of research at BT, with a career in telecoms and IT spanning more than 40 years.

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