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Lessig versus European WiFi

Larry Lessig takes a trip to Switzerland for some conference and finds the fun in trying to get a WiFi connection.

Here’s an excerpt:

Nothing new. Nor is there anything good and new to report about the Internet in Europe. The Europeans have traditionally been committed to deploying the internet in the least convenient and most expensive way possible.

But most depressing was again WSIS. Here was a conference devoted to the information society. No expense was spared in this extravaganza — glitzy video presentations through out, bags full of junk, etc. Yet despite the millions spent to bring thousands from across the world, the organizers decided not to provide robust and simple Internet access.

if you tried to connect your computer to the wireless network provided by Swiss telecom, then you experienced the worst of wireless connectivity. First, to connect, you needed to have an access card. Each time I connected, it took me at least 10 minutes to get through the sign-on process.

Pretty pathetic. Personally, I avoid paying for WiFi access. I get nickled and dimed enough for telecommunications as it is. I can live without having Internet everywhere if it means I’m going to have to sign up for a gazillion plans just to get decent Internet access anywhere and pay $5/mo * gazillion which is 5 gazillion a month.

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