I have an article in The Guardian today that I’ve been wanting to write for nearly a year: free Net [tag]wireless[/tag] access in coffee shops.
For the life of me I haven’t been able to figure out why more businesses don’t offer free Net access. It really is a low overhead for something that will get people into the shop and that is always the biggest challenge.
Anyway I noticed a month ago that there were two free [tag]Wi-Fi[/tag] [tag]hotspots[/tag] in [tag]Oxford[/tag] so did some research, tried em out, interviewed the MD of the company behind them and then called up The Cloud and BT and had a chat with them and wrote a story. The Guardian ran with my suggested headline: “A cornish pasty, a coffee and free Wi-Fi please“.
The printed version is cut down from my very cut down version, so I may just stick up my notes because the interview with MyCloud’s CTO was really interesting. As was the chat with Jamie Hind of [tag]Hotspot Solutions[/tag].
For just Â£25 a month, Hotspot Solutions will check out your property, install the equipment, tell you how to use it and supply support. And that’s it. It’s then up to each individual shop to decide how to offer access and for how long.
This is great news as it means more wireless, free wireless and so competition. I believe that wireless Net access will eventually become free, or effectively free, and that it’s just a matter of how long it takes to get there. Considering that the Internet’s effectiveness grows in direct comparison to how many people can get on it, I also think free wireless access will represent a huge advantage to all those groups, societies and countries that get it first.
So that’s why I was chuffed. Hopefully a load of shop owners will read it or be told about it and realise that there are options beyond BT and T-Mobile installed systems.