Sunday, October 21, 2007

Meet me at the Krystal.......and bring your laptop

I'll have three cheese Krystals, some chili-cheese fries and a diet coke……oh, and some free Wi-Fi, please.  What's the deal with people eating extremely fatty food and then ordering a Diet Coke?  I digress.  My real concern is the free Wi-Fi.  Yep, here it is—Krystal (the fast-food joint) now offers free Wi-Fi.  So, instead of trying to find those nice, "sit-down" restaurants to hold those working power lunches with the business executives, just have everyone meet up at the local Krystal.  Or not.


I have to say, when I first noticed the sign I didn't think much of it—so many places offer free WiFi now.  But then, I'd pass the sign several times a week and each time I saw it I found it more and more intriguing—then just pretty damn funny.  Why is it that a fast-food chain (that sells 59 cent hamburgers) can offer free WiFi as a service to its customers, but several hotel chains, airports, coffee shops, etc…, cannot—or does not, rather.  It seems a bit incongruous—dontcha think?

Yesterday, according to the New York Times, "The United Nations telecommunications agency in Geneva gave the upstart technology called WiMax a vote of approval. The International Telecommunication Union's radio assembly agreed late Thursday to include WiMax, a wireless technology that allows Internet and other data connections across much broader areas than Wi-Fi, as part of what is called the third-generation family of mobile standards.

That endorsement opens the way for many of the union's member countries to devote a part of the public radio spectrum to WiMax, and receivers for it could be built into laptop computers, phones, music players and other portable devices.

Unlike Wi-Fi, this mobile Internet technology can hand off a signal from antenna to antenna, thus allowing a device to hold a connection while in motion. WiMax potentially can move data at 70 megabits a second across 65 kilometers, or 40 miles. Current fixed-line broadband connections have speeds of about 2 megabits a second."

Doesn't it seem like we are behind the times, at times?  I mean, the technology to offer everyone completely wireless access to the internet exists.  It's there.  Because we live in a bureaucratic democracy, we have to first worry about regulation and establish so many vaguely written policies, to be challenged in court, before the people are given the "power" to access the world.  I think this is probably a measure to ensure the continuity of the middle class.  A democracy such as ours depends on the middle class to ensure its existence and viability.  The upper class doesn't have to worry about finance and policy and therefore are willing to pay a premium (literally and figuratively) to separate themselves from the rest of us.  But, again, I digress.

Just imagine how much free wireless internet access for all could benefit our capitalistic economy.  If internet access were free, how many purchases would be made by online shoppers waiting for their flight to board at the airport.  How many online movies would be downloaded, music purchased, etc, if people had all access all the time?  When people have to pay for mobile internet access, it reduces revenue because people have to either find hot-spots for their individual internet service provider (ISP), or they just don't bother.  But, again, due to the lack of regulations, free internet access for all is still a long ways away.  It seems as though the "Powers That Be" would be able to establish some sort of regs for ISP's that resemble the radio and TV stations.  WiMax might provide an outlet for this to occur—only time will tell.

I had a lot of ideas for this blog but due to lack of time and planning, I didn't get to shape my ideas into well-developed complete arguments.  I'll try to come back and do so as time permits, but in the meantime, lemme know your thoughts.  And, please change that Diet Coke into a chocolate milk shake, please.  If you're gonna splurge, do it right.  See ya at

1 comment:

Gabe said...

Zesto has FREE WiFi, too.