Peter Cochrane's Blog: Why do we still secure wi-fi networks?

Hotels need to open up - security risks are so minimal

...to provide a hotel guest, the admin cost is about 100 per cent of the value of the service. And I won't go into the discussions I have had with hotel managers about trying to charge me £15 per day to access something which is worth zip.

But here's the good news: the last eight hotels I've stayed in across Canada, the EU, UK and US have given up the ghost. All have offered free wi-fi with no password required, plus speedy bi-directional bandwidth. Some people are obviously getting it - at long last.

I can hear the lawyers and security experts now: 'This is dangerous. It leaves the organisation open to abuse from the file sharers, criminals, terrorists etc'.

Well, I reckon it's time to get real and start thinking of the actual risk: the massive inconvenience for mobile workers and organisations, and the resulting operational costs, and productivity and efficiency losses. And all this for a miniscule risk that has been disproportionally magnified and sensationalised by experts and media alike.

Right across the planet I am finding common sense is kicking in, with individuals, communities and organisations starting to recognise the value of open networking and freedom of access.

Hopefully this will transcend wi-fi and filter down to the 2.5G and 3G micro and picocells in the home and office as well. Then we will have seamless connectivity on the move - which by the way was the original vision when this all started 20 years ago. It just got misdirected for a while by the naysayers and misguided.