Wednesday, 1 March 2017

muni-fi or mind the gap

Before legislation was introduced in Germany that made owners of unsecured WiFi liable for the actions (the moral panic of piracy mostly) of anonymous users, I remember that public internet or neighbours having unsecured internet connections that one could glom on to was fairly common-place, but for the past several years it’s becoming more and more rare.
Even in cafes and hotels, it’s rarely offered or even available. Law-makers are now, however, considering overturning this rule (DE/EN) and declare that individuals and businesses with open-access cannot be held to be responsible for the conduct of every passer-by. The goal of this change of mind is to bring the country up to speed with its neighbours (whom are making greater strides) when it comes to levelling the digital-divide (Digitale-Kluft) by making free internet more widely available and encouraging neighbourhoods to unlock their connections again.  Data and volume have grown remarkably cheaper, but for those without means, those costs, nominal as they are, are still dear.