Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Willington WiFi


Mobile broadband isn't cheap (about £11 for 3 Gb at Amazon prices) and the connection can be a bit variable. So when you stop near a pub offering free WiFi, on a day when you're planning to do some internet work anyway, the eyes light up.

The Dragon at Willington seemed a friendly place, even if their bar food menu was a tad expensive, and they were quite happy to give me the WiFi key. Unpacked the MacBook and worked my way down the available networks to the one that responded. I could immediately see a list of connected devices, but internet connection there was none. The bartender was also trying to get a link on his iPhone. "Needs a re-boot", he said, "It was working this morning – it's a nightmare". With that confidence-booster, it was back to the table to wait, but to no avail. Since I'd yet to purchase any liquid refreshment I was on the moral low ground, so I packed up, went out to the garden and tried to get a mobile broadband signal.

Unfortunately Willington's Three signal was also rather flaky. Managed to get off an email, but there was no chance of doing any database work. Eventually thought I'd see whether the Dragon's link was working by now. Success! For about 10 minutes, and all rather slow. Just enough for me to make a couple of changes before the whole thing packed up again.

Free WiFi is easy to advertise. I doubt if you could get them under the trades description act, but you ought at least to be able to apply the Ronseal test. Perhaps there should be a universal understanding that if the WiFi doesn't work, it's the coffee that's free. Now to send this blog-post. Assuming Willington will let me.

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