There are some things we automatically expect as customers, and free Wi-Fi is on the top of the list. It’s one of those modern-day conveniences which some of us, particularly the younger Millennials and Generation Zs have always had.
Research from iPass back in 2013 states in the UK there is one Wi-Fi hotspot for every 11 people and worldwide there is one for every 150 people. Although some will argue Wi-Fi is not exactly free as we are required to supply our details in exchange for usage.
75% of people say one week without Wi-Fi would be leave them grumpier than one week without coffee - Iconic Displays
But it’s a technology which has become a way of life for many of us, even climbers on Mount Everest have the luxury of logging on. London Black Cabs offer free Wi-Fi to their passengers and if you’ve ever needed to stop off for a Big Mac or chicken nuggets for your lunch, McDonald’s has offered Wi-Fi since about 2004, and providing it free since 2009, when they dropped the $2.99 access fee.
Dave Grooms, chief information officer for McDonald's USA speaking in 2009 “We said, let's go with free Wi-Fi. We talked to customers and asked what they wanted. You don't need a lot of focus groups to find that out, and we take what customers say seriously. We don't mind at all if people step in take advantage of the Wi-Fi and linger a bit”
A lot of businesses dropped the Wi-fi fee and over the years it’s become more than simply charging customers for usage, as demands increased and mobile devices and flexible working became a way of life, businesses started opening up their virtual and physical spaces to increase footfall and build their brand.
Did you know we could have been calling Wi-Fi “FlankSpeed” or “DragonFly” – but in the end WI-FI won the contest.
Wi-Fi the Workplace
Businesses of course provide Wi-Fi to their workforce, and with the rise of BYOD it's become even more important to support faster and more reliable Wi-Fi. But it appears there are still a few kinks to work out as globally, nearly two thirds of employees would prioritise better Wi-Fi in the workplace, while half would like a better mobile phone signal.
The Flexible Worker
If you are out and about during your working day, whether that is between meetings or working Flexibly, Wi-Fi is part of your life. In large cities it’s common place to find an abundance of hotspots and speed also plays a major part in our Wi-Fi satisfaction, which is why Fresno, California, USA reaches the number one spot on the top ten cities with the fastest Wi-Fi, at 104 MBPS.
But if you find yourself in a bind and looking for a hotspot, here are some more unusual places globally you can find that all important Wi-Fi Hotspot.
1. Nikola Tesla statue, Palo Alto
Nikola may no longer be with us, but he’s still being innovative, or at least his status is! In a tribute to one of the greatest inventors, there is a 6’ 2’ bronze statue, sculpted by Terry Guyer, depicts Nikola holding a lightbulb, and in addition to this, the statue of Telsa provides free Wi-Fi to visitors in Silicon Valley.
2. The North Pole
And for the explorers at heart, 80 kilometres from the North Pole, you’ll find a free Wi-Fi hotspot. Why? Back in 2005 two Moscow-based Intel employees installed it at the Barneo ice camp.
3. Oak Grove Cemetery, Kentucky, USA
To help people with their genealogy research the church installed Wi-Fi, enabling visitors to easily locate famous or infamous people buried there. They have even gone as far as to add QR codes to some of the headstones.
4. Mount Fuji, Japan
Located in eight locations across the mountain, visitors are able to access the free Wi-Fi available, sounds like a gimmick or out of control always connected world? But on a more serious note the free Wi-Fi actually serves as a vital weather checking service for visitors hiking and camping.
5. The Moon
Not the most popular destination, but in 2014 scientists managed to beam a Wi-Fi signal to the moon, using very, very powerful laser. Why you ask? It’s all about forward thinking, and supplying technology to future generations who are lucky enough live and work on the moon, allowing them to easily keep in touch with those living back on earth.