To have Wi-Fi or not to have Wi-Fi that is the question, whether it is nobler …?

free wifiYou get the picture! I write this after having a short break down in Shakespeare country. On my return, I heard a survey being conducted on the radio.

The presenter was telling us that he had recently encountered a survey that rated the most common criteria that young couples (aged 35 years old or less) used to buy or rent a house.

They were asked what the main reason for the choice was. Of course – listeners were thinking about school choice, local area, number of rooms, was it well priced. Considering the age group, I wondered if the need for high speed broadband might play a major part in the choice – it was revealed I wasn’t far off, it was the second top reason for making a choice. The first reason most of them quoted was availability of a good mobile signal. If the house did not have good mobile signal, most of the other factors didn’t matter – how things have changed over the years.

Now, that was a slight aside, as the main topic here is Wi-Fi (as you can tell from my Shakespearean reference in the title). I am slightly sad (as a geek) and when my wife suggested a cottage to hire, I said to make it remote, and that it MUST have Wi-Fi.

Being a small business owner, I often need the flexibility to deal with potential issues – even when away on holiday.

My wife trawled the net, and found a cottage that seemed to tick all the boxes. I checked it over, it all looked great, BUT it had not ticked the Wi-Fi box – so I told her it wouldn’t do. I should point out at this point that she loves looking for holiday cottages, so this isn’t as harsh as you might think. Off she went again, and soon came up with another solution and shortly after the cottage was booked.

We made it down without incident, and settled in. I gained the Wi-Fi key and connected my tablet, only to find that the Wi-Fi was atrocious – the connection slow and not stable. Mobile phone signal was non-existent in the house, and so you had to dance around outside to try and find a signal that worked. I was not a happy chappy. So it was that tearooms and coffee shops were the next best thing, and I was asking at every one: “Do you have Wi-Fi?”

Surprisingly in such a tourist filled area, there were quite a few owners that looked at me like I had asked for a space age technology they hadn’t yet heard of.

So that brings me back to the question, to have Wi-Fi or not to have Wi-Fi?

Operating in the mobile world now, where we are asked to trust all our data to the cloud and the great storage in the sky, I want to ask you if Wi-Fi should be more widely available than it is just now. Some Towns are even installing it in town centres (although sadly in my opinion, the setup is generally being chosen by politicians and not by specialists – so the Wi-Fi you get it substandard, and it would probably be better if it wasn’t there).

So, should tearooms and coffee shops see this as a must have for their clientele? Or is it something extra outside of the norm, and not their problem. I know I spend time in coffee shops, usually having meetings and catch-ups with clients and other business owners, and we use the Wi-Fi a lot. Being honest, if it wasn’t there, we would very likely go somewhere else.

What are you experiences of Wi-Fi availability? We’d love to your opinion on the above discussion!


2 thoughts on “To have Wi-Fi or not to have Wi-Fi that is the question, whether it is nobler …?

  1. The problem is not that places don’t want to have wi-fi, it’s they don’t have the quality of broadband to give the service you are looking for, nor the technical knowledge to install and set up the wi-fi properly.
    You were looking for a remote holiday cottage that was in the countryside. Rural broadband is a good 10 years behind anything you’ll find in a town. Also, as you well know, properly set up wi-fi is vastly different from just sticking in a wireless router and connecting to it. I’m afraid a bit of ‘expectation management’ is required 🙂
    The second problem is the Cloud. Because people are now storing stuff and expecting to stream it they need connections. Yes, I know we keep hearing that it’s ‘the way forward’, but I’m sorry this is one of the drawbacks that it has – you end up relying on a third party connection.

  2. Hi jim

    Thanks for your thoughts my friend. I appreciate that the broadband network is not to my liking and need at present. This article is more of a thought generator to say, Well should it be?, If business and indeed a lot of society are moving more mobile with the latest and greatest phones and tablets, then surely our expectations should be that we can use them weherever we go.

    I think my shock was that many cafes and restuarants and attractions in built up areas of high tourist traffic just seemed bewildered by the concept that this was soemthing they should be considering offering to their patrons. How, if need be do we change thier perceptions of where technology is going and that there is now a whole generation out there around 30 years old and under that have never known a world without the Internet…… for thought.


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