Free Wiffy (WiFi)

According to an article on The Register, it would seem that Orlando is shutting down the dream of free Wiffy for the local municipality. Surprisingly only about 27 people a day are using the free wireless that is available… they’re spending $1,800 a month on this project. So you figure, 27 distinct users per day in a 30 day month, that’s about $2.25 a person per day. Sounds pretty decent to me, but apparently I guess the government there was hoping that it would be pennies a day per person considering that there are 1.8 million people in the municipality.
Futhermore it might mean the end of free Wiffy in places like Panera. I’ll admit that even I’ve gone to Panera and used their wireless, however I usally buy a couple of bagels and a beverage while I’m there as well which is a hefty cover charge considering the price of their bagels. But on the Saturdays that I’ve gone there to study, I’ve been amazed at the number of squatters there, so I can definitely understand why they might think of being rid of it.
Even more so though is T-Mobile and Starbucks and Borders having their roll out of wireless across the US. It’s a great plan and fairly reasonable for some people with laptops that don’t feel like having internet in their house, at only $30 a month with a 12 month agreement. But, the fact that they’re losing about $10 per every $1 of revenue is quite shocking to me. I’m curious if this is the actual truth or if this is their way of trying to give an excuse as to why they might raise their prices sooner or later.
So here’s what it all boils down to, free internet and even paid internet that is affordable apparently isn’t as viable as some people would like to think that it is. They seem to feel that they’re not getting the best bang for their buck… what better way than to give it to people for free (though indirectly they pay for it through taxes). By taking it away, doesn’t that mean that those 27 people per day will now have to fork out some more money out of their pocket even though their taxes aren’t going to change and go lower now that the free Wiffy is gone? Furthermore, they’ll go and get a T-Mobile account, spending $30 a month… doesn’t this in turn mean that T-Mobile would lose more money by their current logic? 😉
I guess you could say that I think it’s a great idea and even if it’s under utilized right now, change takes time, overnight things aren’t going to change the way that most people probably hope that they would. And just think, I doubt that any of these wireless access points use WPA or WEP, and oh yeah, are they being monitored?

[Listening to: Never Know – Jack Johnson – In Between Dreams (3:32)]

3 thoughts on “Free Wiffy (WiFi)

  1. 1.8 million people and only 27 use it per day? I think these numbers are someone’s screwed up political agenda. Some local guy doesn’t like college kids hanging out in his store. Las Cruces, NM (pop. approx. 100,000) has more wireless users in it’s stores than a city of 1.8 million? I think not…

  2. Quite true indeed. I’ve been somewhat surprised that Wiffy/VoIP phones haven’t gotten here a little bit sooner. I know that a lot of the cellular companies aren’t too keen on them, but then again, maybe that’s where they can start celling services over the Wiffy connection rather than the CDMA 2000 or 3g networks that are so “highly” touted.

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