Why not more WiFi?

Internect connection in Argentina was better and faster in 2003 than anything we could get at home at that time.

We’ve got broadband since then and although the rural connection (through Orcon) is much slower than we’d get in a city it’s an improvement on dial-up – fine for emails, net surfing and blogging but slower than desiarable for up or downloading lots of data.

But it doesn’t work on the laptop so when we’re on the road we use a Telecom mobile connection which operates at a similar speed to the home connection.

That’s pretty dismal comapred with many other places and last month’s visit to Argentina showed us their technology has overtaken ours again with the proliferation of free WiFi services which were available in most cafes, bars and hotels.

Bernard Hickey  found a similar level of service in the USA and Fairfacts Media notes free WiFi is offered by British pubs as a way to attract business.

We’re a long way from widespread availability of WiFi in New Zealand although the government has promised a boost to internet services as part of its investment in infrasturcture.

The wee Otago town of Lawrence isn’t waiting for the government though. The ODT reports  the locals are already setting up free wireless internet in the town centre.

More and more people, especially overseas visitors and business people, had laptops with them as they travelled, so it made sense to try to offer them free Internet access so they would stay longer in the town. . .

Quite – it’s good for travellers and it’s good for business and there’s no need to wait for the government to do it.

2 Responses to Why not more WiFi?

  1. stef says:

    I’ve had better broadband access in Vietnam than in New Zealand. Even moving from inner to suburban auckland has slowed my internet down considerably as I no longer have access to adsl2.



  2. I always though mobile broadband was way too expensive in New Zealand.
    But in the UK I gave it a go, but sadly it did not work at my parent’s place which is in a small village kust 10kms or so from York, where mobile broadband worked very well.
    I blogged on my mobile broadband experiences recently at No Minister.
    I have found a couple of cafes in York that also offer free wireless to drum up trade.
    Free wireless also seems normal at hotels in San Francisco and at many cafes too.
    I came across a free public network in the heart of San Francisco too.
    New Zealand has much catching up to do on the internet front, which will be a challenge for our new government.


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