The “quixotic” nature of free wi-fi in 2005
As long as I’m looking at technology business posts that I wrote several years ago, let’s look at another post from that period.
I began that post as follows:
This is being posted from Rico Coffee, 2320-A Foothill Blvd., La Verne, CA 91750. (Hey, it’s not as automated as Where’s Tim Hibbard, but it works.)
Before continuing, let me interject something. Back in 2005, if you wanted to say where you were writing your online content, you normally had to manually add the location. The idea that you could automatically register the location of some online content – or, better still, the idea that there would be entire SERVICES dedicated to automatically sharing your location – was several years in the future. (Where’s Tim Hibbard, incidentally, no longer exists.)
Back to my post.
I need to check my work e-mail before 8:00 Pacific time to see if I received an important e-mail from the East Coast, and for personal reasons I find myself in the La Verne area. After a bit of hunting, I was able to locate a free wi-fi location (well, if you don’t count the medium coffee and the blueberry muffin, but it’s still a lot cheaper than six dollars an hour or whatever the going rate is).
Granted that La Verne, California isn’t San Francisco, California, or even Hermiston, Oregon, but even here we have a potential challenge to the business model of Wayport and the rest that charge large amounts for wi-fi access.
A clarification – the reference to Hermiston, Oregon is about something that was discussed in another post about a 700 square mile wireless hotspot.
In my post, I then quoted extensively from an article that talked about this free wi-fi idea. Here’s a sample:
The free hotspot movement may seem a bit [naive] and quixotic, but it does pose a serious threat to the business case of the for-pay hotspot movement.
Today, that naive notion of free wi-fi is taken for granted; especially now that you can walk into any Starbucks and get free wi-fi access.
And Rico Coffee? It went out of business several years ago.