Whitechapel is renowned for its contradictory statements of intent but their strategy for connecting our little island has to take the prize for most ridiculous.
The intention is to enable every home with ‘super-fast broadband’ by 2020 (or 2012 depending on the source). We agree with their plan and their efforts reflect our initiatives in rural Zambia. With over 80% of the world’s population believing that the Internet is a basic human right, we’d be wrong to disagree.
At the same time that Brown announces this, weeks after it’s been publicised (good to know he’s keeping up), they also introduce a clause in their digital economy bill that gives them the power to close websites that infringe copyright. Whilst we at PolkaSpots Supafly Wi-Fi don’t condone illegal downloading, we do not agree that a government should be allowed to control the Internet.
On top of this, their plan to roll this out includes a £6 / year tax on our telephone line rental to help BT finance the deployment… But why should this just be left with BT – they haven’t been a public company for nearly 30 years and what about their competition? It would seem that the UK government is saying that only BT can do this. Why? We live in a free country don’t we?
Personally, I believe we need broadband to stay connected with the world. I can see that if we don’t have access to the Internet that we’ll get left behind. For this reason, we volunteer our time to help deploy Wi-Fi Hotspot Networks in rural Zambia. I don’t however agree that we all need 100Mb broadband – businesses won’t be put off coming to this country if Duncannon (one of the UK’s smallest villages) doesn’t have it.
This might just sound like I don’t want the UK to be connected but you’d be wrong. Let’s get 100mb broadband across the UK – let’s just be a little more open about who’s going to pay and run it. I do not see why BT should own the network. And, if they’re going to – shouldn’t they be a public company again?
Read more on the BBC technology site here.
BitTorrent is a peer-to-peer file sharing protocol mainly used for sharing large files across the net. We’ve blocked this at our Wi-Fi Hotspots because most people use it to download movies illegally. This is a problem both because it’s illegal and because it consumes all the Internet connection…
It has been estimated that bittorrent may account for as much as 43% of all Internet traffic.
However, with our every growing demand to download and stream video to our computers, large corporations are looking at reducing the load on their servers and bittorrent may be their answer.
Last year, Norway’s public broadcaster NRK filmed a 7 hour HD documentary. After airing on TV, the NRK wanted to reach a larger audience – the whopping 246GB file put a staggering hurdle in their way. If they put the file on their servers they’d either have to install a new farm of machines or they’d fall over when the world tried to download it. Instead they decided to ‘seed’ it with bittorrent and spread the load amongst those that wanted it.
In 2007 when the BBC launched ‘iPlayer‘, they also relied on bittorrent to share the load – at the time they believed this was the only way to do it. A year later they moved all the files on to their servers again because of a 90% drop in bandwidth costs.
The public hadn’t reacted well either complaining of increased bandwidth utilisation and costs; slower connections and slow downloads.
So where do we go from here? Are we running out of capacity – bittorrent would seem the logical step forward wouldn’t it? Even the UK government is promising super fast broadband within a few years. Why not share the load out? The problem, from the persepctive of a WiFi Hotspot Company, is stopping the illegal file downloading while allowing the legitimate traffic.
As you know, PolkaSpots Supafly Wi-Fi Hotspots come with bandwidth management as standard. But what does this actually mean?
Most free WiFi Hotspots restrict the amount of time you can surf the Internet – this is great in some businesses however there’s nothing more annoying than being disconnected half-way through an email.
At PolkaSpots WiFI Hotspots, we decided to allow unlimited time on our WiFi Hotspots but slow things down a little bit. This means your customers won’t get cut of mid-email – nor do they get to use / abuse your Internet connection. For example, if you had an 8meg broadband line, they only get a percentage of this and more people can use your connection happily.
What about abuse?
We go to great lengths to prevent abuse. Here’s how it works:
Login screens – your customers need an access code to get online. A login screen prevents passersby from using your WiFi connection.
Bandwidth management – we went over this above. Because we slice your Internet connection up, abuse of your Internet connection is actually quite hard.
Content filtering – this blocks illegal file downloading and preserves your Internet connection.
Quarantine queue – if we do detect abuse or someone trying to stream too much data, we put them in a slow queue. Handy.
All this means you can get on running your business and not your WiFi Hotspot Service.
I want to restrict time. Can I do this?
Sure thing – if you don’t like the idea of your customers having unlimited access to the Internet you can restrict their connection time with voucher codes. You give your customer a unique number each time they want to use the Internet.
Lots of things for you to do with your Wi-Fi hotspot then!
We might have mentioned this before, but it’s such a good factlet, that we wanted to share it with you all again.
Increase your turnover by £16,857 with the best Wi-Fi Hotspot Service out there!
That’s a lot of money to generate from such a small investment. If you could pull that off in the stock market, you’d be a lot richer.
It costs just £179 to install a PolkaSpots Wireless Hotspot for a year, not a lot of cash to fork out when it could generate you an extra £16,857 is it…
We didn’t even make this up! Here’s how you can do it too:
- On average 15 people will use your Supafly Wireless Hotspot everyday
- Your average spend per customer is £3.76
- Your business is open 300 days a year
Do the sums, and you’ll be amazed. The average increase to your turnover on a monthly basis is a whopping £1,410!
So, who is the dring force behind PolkaSpots Supafly Wi-Fi? The person that write these strange blogs and gave birth to Burt and Roger.
That’s me, Simon Morley. I started PolkaSpots Suapfly Wi-Fi Hotspots in 2005 aged 24 – five years later we have a few hundred Wi-Fi Hotspots around the UK plus a few deployments in Zambia.
You can see my full profile on Linked in here.
Nice to meet you.
It’s not easy understanding what you do and don’t have to do as a public Wi-Fi Hotspot provider these days. The UK and EU governments are very keen that we’re all connected to the Internet with rocket fast Internet services however they keep threatening to ban Wi-Fi Hotspots completely.
So what’s this all about? There’s a EU directive that basically says that anyone that’s got a Wi-Fi Hotspot Service installed in their business is a public communications provider. It doesn’t even matter whether you’re using a company, like PolkaSpots Supafly WiFi Hotspots or doing it yourself. As a public communications provider, you have to keep a record of everyone who’s using your service, their IP addresses, mac addresses and login / logout times. But because of the data protection act, you’re not actually allowed to do this – you just have to have the ability to do it. Silly silly.
At PolkaSpots, we were actually one of the very first Wi-Fi Hotspot Companies to adhere to these regulations. Our clever little system records all the traffic on all our Wi-Fi Hotspots and should we be required to do so, can dump all the traffic, emails and web from a particluar site to a server in our office.
All this is quite worrying? Not really, it’s actually good these rules are in place. The answer is not to completely ban Wi-Fi hotspots, it’s to control what’s being downloaded at the Hotspots. For example, all our Wi-Fi Hotspots come with content filtering and we have clever bandwidth management in place to prevent any single user from abusing the connections.
What a treat I hear you saying! We know that rosettes might seem 20 years out of date, but we’re bringing them back with style!
Four in five people believe that the Internet is a fundamental human right. A recent survey of 27,000 people in 26 countries conducted by the BBC world service concludes.
“The Internet is the most powerful potential source of enlightenment ever created” says Dr. Hamadoun Toure, the secretary-general of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). He also told the BBC that governments must “regard the internet as basic infrastructure – just like roads, waste and water”.
This is why we support Linknet, an African Co-operative with their Wireless Hotspot installations in rural Zambia.
Most people ask us why we’re bothering to install a Wi-Fi Hotspot Service over there when surely food and running water are more important. We don’t disagree that these services are important, we just feel that without access to the world wide web through Wi-Fi Hotspot deployements, a whole nation stands to get left behind. Can you imagine your children being brought up in a world with no computers, no internet, no Wi-Fi?
You can read more about the story on the BBC website here.
If you want to help connect Africa – recommend a friend for a Wi-Fi Hotspot today and we’ll donate £10 towards the cost of a Wi-Fi Hotspot Controller for Linknet. Alternatively, donate directly to Linknet here.
Another great week for UK Wi-Fi Hotspots and their surrounding services.
In the UK, the Digital Economy Bill has been enforced to combat illegal file sharing. This is fine and we at PolkaSpots Supafly Wi-Fi strongly oppose the downloading of illegal and copyrighted materials.
According to ZDNet UK, the UK government is not going to exempt Universities, small businesses, public hotspot providers and libraries from providing open Wi-Fi Hotspots.
But they can’t just stop us can they? Hopefully, they’ll just be a bit tougher on everyone. PolkaSpots Supafly Wi-Fi hotspots come with content filtering and bandwidth management controls to prevent abuse and stop illegal downloads. Interestingly, we were fully compliant with the latest directives, before they came into place. If that’s possible!
Don’t risk your business – install a PolkaSpots Supafly Wi-Fi Hotspot
The addition of a PolkaSpots Free Wireless Hotspot can increase your turnover by £15,000 per annum. That’s a big increase from an investment of just £14.99 per month. And, if you install a pre-paid Wireless Hotspot service, you can earn even more!
With all these people looking at your Wireless Hotspot Login screens on a daily basis, you should be thinking about rebranding your Wi-Fi Hotspot captive portal to match your business.
You can do all this with PolkaSpots Supafly Wi-Fi Hotspots! For more information, see the PolkaSpots Website here.
Read about increasing your turnover by installing a Wireless Hotspot on the PolkaSpots Blog here.