Policy Clashes With Natural Behaviors: WiFi Vs Mobile Hotspots At Google I/O

A message from the Google I/O Twitter account points to an interesting clash developing between natural behavior and Internet access at conferences.

Google’s I/O conference is currently behind held in San Francisco, a gathering of developers that has turned into a platform for Google to make major announcements impacting the future of the web and mobile. We noted the below message from the Google I/O twitter account this morning:

Only you can save WiFi! Mobile hotspots negatively impact WiFi performance. Please turn off your mobile hotspot at #io2011

An interesting clash between policy and behavior is taking shape here. Individuals are bringing portable hotspots to provide their own reliable internet access, which is apparently causing enough disruption in the conference wifi to impact everyone else’s. What’s interesting is that as more individuals are able to adopt personal-access hotspots (and share this with others in proximity), local bottom-up networks for access are developed, in contrast to top-down wide-access platforms like building-wide wifi. This take on access to internet considers people’s natural behavior, which the Google I/O account seems to be opposing – at least in the short-term for the sake of the conference. With mobile hotspots making their way into the hands of more people, we’re certain to hear more on this clash very shortly.

@googleio
Google I/O

Image by mezzoblue

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