johnny knows wi-fi

30Jan03

so we’re having a late dinner at king of thai, as we so often do, when johnny says “in 3 years, all cafes will have free airport (meaning wifi).” what? johnny never talks about tech stuff like this, but he knows i’m into it. his reasoning. cafes realize that having internet access brings them business. currently wifi costs money because we’re in the early adopter phase, not of the technology, but of the public infrastructure. as the infrustructure becomes more readily available it will cost less and all cafes will have it for about the same price. then one (or some cafes) will lower their price to draw more business. cheaper internet, sure let’s go there instead. and finally one brave cafe will give internet away for free. as soon as a few brave cafes with decent coffee do this, all the others will have to join in to keep their business. and voila, free internet with your coffee. shop owners will see the minimum infrastructure investment ($50 – 100 for now) and the monthly access fees as a cost of doing business. could this be true?

my own personal theory is not quite so rosy, i believe that since the majority of wi-fi networks is controlled by earthlink, t-mobile and soon, ATT wireless, that soon we will pay a small monthly fee in conjunction with our cell phone or ISP bill. for that we will get service on all the access points our particular provider has installed or partnered with throughout the country. this will in some way effect where we eat, drink, shop etc and so eventually there will be roaming agreements. but i don’t have that part worked out yet.

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