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Sky-high wi-fi must die

Tech writer Kieren McCarthy’s posted a typically angry rant about the insane cost of wi-fi access points, and he’s hit the nail on the head: how on earth can firms justify hotspot access charges of £6 per hour when you can have 24/7 broadband in your house for less than £20 per month?

At £6 an hour, the real cost of Net access (and just for one person) is a staggering £4,500 a month.

I’m in the rather ridiculous situation of having never, ever, ever used a wi-fi hotspot when I’m out and about, despite having a wi-fi enabled phone. I’m buggered if I’m paying six quid to check my email.

It’s particularly galling when you look at what, say, a BT Openzone hotspot actually costs to run. If you go for openzone in a box, you pay £200 to share your broadband connection – which only has to be a 512Kbps connection. Even businesses – who pay more for broadband than mere mortals – won’t pay much more than £20 per month for that kind of connection. Where they’re getting stiffed is on the vouchers, of which they only get to keep 25% (according to the BT openzone site, anyway).

Kieren’s right. We’re being screwed.