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  • Jobs' Vision of Free Public Wi-Fi Guest Networks Surfaces


    According to Re/code’s Walt Mossberg, late Apple CEO, Steve Jobs, was said to have been unhappy with the cost of slow speed and high cost mobile data networks and sought to solve the issue by convincing both businesses and consumers to share their high-speed Internet connections via free and open guest Wi-Fi networks. Mossberg noted that Jobs was looking to form a group of technology companies and network manufacturers to implement the idea allowing owners of any Wi-Fi connected device to take advantage of the hotspots rather than using cellular data and being forced to pay to connect.

    A number of telecommunications providers among others, have seemed to implement similar ideas since its inception. As of right now, Comcast is one of the companies that offer such an option with its home routers in the US. Free Wi-Fi roaming is a feature that some Asian and European telecoms such as Fon, Iliad and Three (among others), have also decided to offer their customers in their respective geographies.

    For its part, the Cupertino California company also built a “guest network” option into its AirPort series of Internet routers. The company made sure to acknowledge that a user’s devices would remain secure despite having the presence of a guest network. There are other manufacturers that have followed suit and the Open Wireless Movement, which was backed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Mozilla among others, has released special firmware designed to allow users of certain routers lacking the feature to take advantage of it.

    The group claims that allowing mobile users to swap from mobile data networks to Wi-Fi networks can prove to be quite beneficial. It not only increases the availability of internet access to groups that may not be able to afford them otherwise but it also enables new and innovative technologies that require high-bandwidth connections.

    How do you feel about the idea? Is it something you’d like to see more widely implemented?

    Source: Apple (Support), Open Wireless, Re/code
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Jobs' Vision of Free Public Wi-Fi Guest Networks Surfaces started by Akshay Masand View original post
    Comments 6 Comments
    1. HeliPilot's Avatar
      HeliPilot -
      Well as a Comcast customer I can tell you that it is not so altruistic. I pay a premium for my bandwidth and letting someone leach off of my router without paying slows me down. So in reality Comcast is giving it's customers Wi-Fi away without any cost to them. Comcast customers here need to know that you can opt your router out of the loop by contacting them.
    1. peacedog's Avatar
      peacedog -
      Quote Originally Posted by HeliPilot View Post
      Well as a Comcast customer I can tell you that it is not so altruistic. I pay a premium for my bandwidth and letting someone leach off of my router without paying slows me down. So in reality Comcast is giving it's customers Wi-Fi away without any cost to them. Comcast customers here need to know that you can opt your router out of the loop by contacting them.
      While I'm not a fan of Comcast (despite being a customer), their FAQs state that your throughput would not change, nor would it count against your monthly datacap. That being said, it's still unnerving that a stranger is piggybacking off your router.
    1. CRoads29's Avatar
      CRoads29 -
      It does not slow you Internet or charge you for it I work with comcast
    1. bigboyz's Avatar
      bigboyz -
      Thats crazy. At least its an option and not a law.
    1. Carvensno's Avatar
      Carvensno -
      I just go in and secure everything down, hard password, hide wifi network, make only so many IP's avail for all devices in the house and assign/reserve a IP for each device. So even if they were to figure out my WIFI password? They still wont get a IP for access
    1. exNavy's Avatar
      exNavy -
      Pretty naive Steve to think people will just share their wifi so losers can conduct their illegal business on your IP and you get burned for the activities.