Feeds

Public Wi-Fi is a dog's dinner, says Cloud founder

Needs serious investment now

Boost IT visibility and business value

Britain's Wi-Fi networks need masses more investment if they're to fulfill their potential, says the founder of The Cloud. George Polk founded the network in 2003 and left in 2007. BSkyB snapped it up last week.

But he wasn't going to paint a rosy picture for the new owner's benefit, we discovered.

"Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes your login credentials work, sometimes they don't," he told us. Operators had neglected investing the networks because of the classic chicken-and-egg dilemma. "Either the devices weren't there, or they were and the networks were not being used. We're now at a convergence point, and 2m devices becomes a meaningful thing – it becomes incredibly important.

"Networks will start to get judged on the basis of quality. Sky sees a commercial opportunity and it's paying real money for The Cloud."

How much, we don't know – the sum hasn't been disclosed yet.

Polk said he was skeptical about O2's rival announcement that it would be rolling out a free ad-supported Wi-Fi network to compete with The Cloud.

"They said they'll do it in 450 locations – I'll bet those are O2 stores. But hey – O2 already have Wi-Fi in those stores.

"The question is to see whether operators invest money." Polk doesn't think they have a choice.

"BT is going to be in the commanding position that everybody else has to compete with. It's more robust than some, and it has roaming into other countries. And so that sort of level of service is going to be necessary for all the other operators to get to." ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Scotland's BIG question: Will independence cost me my broadband?
They can take our lives, but they'll never take our SPECTRUM
Bring back error correction, say Danish 'net boffins
We don't need no steenkin' TCP/IP retransmission and the congestion it causes
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
NBN Co adds apartments to FTTP rollout
Commercial trial locations to go live in September
Samsung Z Tizen OS mobe is post-phoned – this time for good?
Russian launch for Sammy's non-droid knocked back
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
What FTC lawsuit? T-Mobile US touts 10GB, $100 family-of-4 plan
Folks 'could use that money for more important things' says CEO Legere
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.