Home Cartoon: Wi No Fi?

Cartoon: Wi No Fi?

OSCON has wrapped in sunny Portland, and with it the most ambitious conference wireless networking I’ve ever seen. Yet even here I heard attendees complaining about sluggish Wi-Fi… and organizers asking them not to download large files.

Now, there’s little question that OSCON is an edge case. Get a few thousand developers and software engineers together and you’re going to strain the bandwidth.

But every conference I’ve been to – every single one in the last four or five years – has had issues with Wi-Fi. And for that matter, nearly every hotel I’ve stayed at has also had issues with Wi-Fi. And I sometimes wonder if the issue is often less one of conference overload than one of facilities that invest as little as they need to to be able to say they offer Wi-Fi.

Then again, every conference and hotel I’ve been to has had at least one person who insists on downloading an OS upgrade or a movie to watch on the plane home. That would be, um, me.

The question is, when does conference Wi-Fi stop being about just checking email and maybe sharing some notes, and start being about allowing people to continue doing the heavy wireless lifting they do at home and at the office? Ever?

More Noise to Signal.

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