Australians Addicted To Free Wi-Fi

Australians love us some free Wi-Fi. According to new figures from the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), three million Australians made use of public Wi-Fi hotspots for internet access.

As ACMA points out, that figure (which covers the year to June 2014) is up six-fold since 2009, when 495,000 Australians used Wi-Fi hotspots. (The figures don't cover people using personal hotspots based on mobile networks.)

It's worth thinking about Wi-Fi hotspots in a corporate context. Inevitably, people will use them for work tasks, so you need to put appropriate security measures in place or require the use of a VPN.

Hit the report for more statistics, including a state-by-state breakdown of available free Wi-Fi services in each state of Australia.

ACMA


Comments

    There are likely two reasons for this:

    1) 99% of tablets sold are wi-fi only. Consider the Down Under tech markup that increases base costs. Now consider how much extra the 3G/4G version of a tablet costs (if it's even sold here). Now consider the usurious prices for 3G/4G data in Australia.

    2) If you're a laptop user, it comes down to the cost of 3G/4G data being something you want to avoid, so you see out wi-fi at every opportunity.

    Side note. I bought one of those cheap Nexus 4's a few weeks back from expansys. I haven't moved all my data over to it yet, so for now it's still sitting in my room, with my SIM in my old phone. I don't have wi-fi. There are a few neighbouring businesses I can mooch off with a free click-through, "Hi, click connect" type of login page, which tend to be available only during business hours. There are many other wifi access points, none of which are accessible to me.

    HOWEVER, in a result similar to that detailed in the using-Google-apps-in-the-air-without-paying story, it nonetheless keeps grabbing my gmail! Any time, day or night, whether I can access the web at that moment or not, IT'S FOUND A WAY TO GET TO THE INTERNET, at least for gmail purposes (POP3? IMAP?). Of course, what I infer from this is that it's also constantly phoning home to Google, SIM or not, but hey, it's kinda cool that it can get to gmail without logging in to wifi.

    "Australian mobile data costs, excessively overpriced. Free alternatives, surprisingly popular! Stay tuned to find out what colour grass is."

    Jokes aside, interesting to see some figures. Hopefully this might spark some growth in consumer-friendly connectivity options.

    'Growing use' is not the same thing as 'addicted to.'

    Id like to know where.

    I've never been able to do anything on public free wifi, except our local library. It's mostly a pointless exercise in useless frustration.

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