If public Wi-Fi became a reality – it wouldn’t just be easier to text your mom – it would allow businesses, hospitals, corporations and everyday people to communicate much differently. You might say that we have our phones in front of our faces 24/7 and public Wi-Fi might make matters worse. There are definitely these concerns, but let’s focus on the positive changes that public Wi-Fi can bring us.
It’s said that: “The airwaves that FCC officials want to hand over to the public would be much more powerful than existing WiFi networks that have become common in households. They could penetrate thick concrete walls and travel over hills and around trees. If all goes as planned, free access to the Web would be available in just about every metropolitan area and in many rural areas. The new WiFi networks would also have much farther reach, allowing for a driverless car to communicate with another vehicle a mile away or a patient’s heart monitor to connect to a hospital on the other side of town” (pg 16, 17) Website
This means that not only will your Wi-Fi network not cut off every three seconds and go straight to data, but also it will allow for a stronger connection for communication in general. Now we already have public WiFi “hot spots” in different cities but imagine you didn’t have to find that one café with the free WiFi sign on the window to connect. Can you see the changes already?
Although despite the benefits there are concerns that arise when public Wi-Fi is brought up. One main concern is that “public spaces…raise certain issues, including privacy and security. That is, who else in the public space can see the data that is being sent to the user? Also, can the service provider constantly track your physical location? Can the service provider build a profile of the web sites a user visit? How much of a user’s privacy does one need to give up in order to benefit from these services?” (Website).
These concerns are frightening as so many apps on mobile devices are already tracking our every whereabouts and with a strong public Wi-Fi connection – will the government be tracking our every move? This will be something to look at when public Wi-Fi does become a reality and we need to begin reading the fine print and securing our information. Although, the benefits outweigh any fears we might have. We need to learn to live in the future and prepare for public Wi-Fi so that we may build on it’s many advantages.