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WiFi Alliance Working on Passpoint Technology; FON Providers, Rejoice


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Oct 9, 2007
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In many markets, people and businesses with WiFi hotspots have began monetizing their idle internet bandwidth by sharing it with others via middleman service providers such as FON. While the business model itself is a solid one where everyone wins, it is faced with technical hurdles. Unlike cellular ISPs that use 3G HSDPA technologies, where the size of a "cell" is much larger than the coverage area of a WiFi hotspot, and where moving between cells is seamless, with close to no drops in connectivity (providing there are no dead-zones between the cells), WiFi hotspots have the issue of logging out of one hotspot before logging into another.

This issue makes moving between multiple FON hotspots result in temporary connectivity loss, which can be unacceptable in some situations (such as downloading something important when moving in a bus). No less than the WiFi Alliance is taking interest in eliminating this technical hurdle, by working on what's known as "Passpoint". Simply put, WiFi Passpoint technology lets clients move between physical hotspots without renegotiation (security and DHCP), making the movement seamless, and resulting in little or no connectivity loss, again, provided there's no dead-zone between the coverage areas of the hotspots users are switching between. A novel concept, which will improve wireless internet service.

Source: ComputerWorld
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Unfortunately here in the UK (unless its Mcdonalds or your local library) most pubs restaurants you need to pay if you wish to use their wifi (unless im doing it wrong)

I have been to pubs that claimed to have free wifi but then I get slapped in the face with a BT. login screen which directs me to a page with different data packages starting from 1hrs use to 3hrs etc etc it varies from hotspot to hotspot.

its only free if you have mobile broadband with O2 or have BT as your home broadband provider. and even though they claim its unlimited usage - they put a 'fair usage' cap of 3GB per month which is just totally laughable.

otherwise to buy an hours usage is a ripoff.

Lucky for me im with a mobile network that allows me unlimited data usage and the ability to tether my mobile up so im sorted whether im with or without my laptop while im out and about, and i dont have to pay any outlandish fee's just for an hours internet.
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I live in London and its rare that there are enough BT fon hotspot for anything like 20% coverage of a mile walk. My phone has a bt fon changer app on it so it auto connects.