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wi-fi in cafes

Always On carries an article about not being able to get a seat in Starbucks at 11am and suggests that this is a sign of the strength of demand for wireless broadband. He obviously doesn’t see the obvious reason why people are there: Starbuck’s provide the cheapest serviced office space in New York and other global capitals, whilst at the same time paying some of the highest rents in the world. The whole thing is unsustainable. Having wi-fi in the cafe just makes things even worse. Read about the experience at Victrola in Seattle.

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  1. I think this validatest the Kylemore Cafe/Bitbuzz model where you get a token for 30 minutes of access with every purchase.

  2. bandwidth, the same as (traditional) telephone calls will never be free.

    it will cost someone, somewhere to provide it.

    once the range of produce that gets you a wifi token is wide (and the amount of time high enough) then the token system will work.

  3. I agree that the tokens are a good workaround in the short-term. One problem, however, is getting the tokens to work with non-computer wi-fi devices, for example wi-fi phones, or wi-fi digital cameras. They don’t have a user interface that is capable of navigating through the captive portal system. Some new standard is really needed to make this work.