Re: We could be at the end of the free public wi-fi era… already

At the end of November 2009, I wrote a blog post about how public internet hotspots (commonly known as wi-fi hotspots) may be coming to a premature end thanks to the government.

Four months on, and it doesn’t look like circumstances have improved. According to ISPReview, the government is still hinting that hotspot owners will be responsible for what their customers do on the internet. This could be disastrous for many public buildings – such as pubs, restaurants, train stations and shops. It may put them out of business if they are judged as guilty for something unlawful that their customers have done online.

If the new laws do go ahead, you may find that most wi-fi hotspots are shutting down. It is far too much of a risk for hotspot owners – a couple of illegal MP3 downloads and they could be out of business.

So if I were you, I’d look your last at the free wi-fi you have at your local pub. In a matter of months, it could disappear.

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