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Bell Canada Turns Payphones into Public Hotspots

michael posted more than 11 years ago | from the please-deposit-five-cents-for-the-next-1000-bytes dept.

The Internet 262

turing0 writes "Bell Canada yesterday announced a trial of a new public wifi hotspot service - currently free - with locations in either airports, railway stations or bus terminals in Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Kingston. Bell has adopted an interesting twist on the hotspot in that they have built a steel armored case, in which to house the AP, a DSL modem and power supply, which is the exact dimensions of a payphone -- and mounted the whole thing in place of a single phone where there are banks of them such as you see in airports and bus terminals or subways. According to this article in the Globe and Mail Bell has still not determined the pricing model."turing0 continues: "I attended the press conference at Toronto's Union Station, Track F, where I took a close look at the AP box which was mounted quite securely to a bank of payphones, and I was pretty impressed at how solid it appeared as various journalistic hacks took turns trying to pry the AP off the wall under the watch of Bell execs and a Bell phone tech. Bell is using Cisco AP1200's in the box as well as Alcatel ADSL modems with a 3Mb/Sec ADSL/ATM backhaul to the internet according to the Bell tech present. Various Bell types were wandering about with a pretty diverse collection of hardware such as Apple iBooks, Compaq PDA and IBM Thinkpads with 802.11 cards from Proxim, Cisco and Symbol as well as Dlink and SMC. Great use of a fully amortized asset (phone banks) and a very interesting spin on how to generate new revenue from a dying cost center - the payphone biz. Plus the added benefit of not having to negotiate new agreements with property management and landlords. Smooth move for Bell. Why didn't I think of that? Payphones, though declining in numbers, are still pretty much ubiquitous and are served with power as well as a good solid mounting location for the AP. In the final deployment Bell said that they would also be mounting AP's in the plenum and riser infrastructure of selected buildings should the full roll-out of the Accesszone product proceed. Is Bell Canada the first ILEC to recycle payphones?"

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Bell can first my post too. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4863045)

For Posterity!

IN SOVIET RUSSIA (-1, Troll)

keesh (202812) | more than 11 years ago | (#4863055)

Public hotspots turn Bell Canada into payphones

IN SOVIET RUSSIA (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4863067)

A dump has to take ME!

Re:IN SOVIET RUSSIA (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4863088)

IN SOVIET RUSSIA it FAILS you!
sucka!

I got the FP, My second everrr, AND YOU FAILED IT!
WHAT IS EVEN funnier IS THAT I READ THE WHOLE TITLE before clicking read more...

Re:IN SOVIET RUSSIA (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4863206)

ok.. I can see this joke waning now..

NIRST NOST (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4863058)

OS/2 Sucked!

Microsoft FOREVER!

How much coverage? (2, Interesting)

dirvish (574948) | more than 11 years ago | (#4863063)

Is there any info on the dispersement of pay phones? Will this blanket major cities?

Re:How much coverage? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4863231)

shut the fuck up, asshole. i'll blanket YOU with a fucking 2x4, wanker. here, take this cellphone and stick it up your ass SIDEWAYS. dipshit.

Good Idea (5, Funny)

blackmonday (607916) | more than 11 years ago | (#4863065)

Guess they gotta do something with those pay phones now that everyone has a cell phone.

Re:Good Idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4863104)

how the heck can (pun intended) the terrorist can make an anonymous phone call these days.

Who cares? (-1)

BlackTriangle (581416) | more than 11 years ago | (#4863165)

how the heck can (pun intended) the terrorist can make an anonymous phone call these days.

Terrorists can do whatever they'd like. Stop being so paranoid, live life to the fullest, don't be afraid of the boogeyman.

Re:Who cares? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4863328)

Your subversive post has been noted in your permanent record!

We suggest that you ameliorate the damage to you digital citizenship by reporting three of you evil, hacking, music stealing friends to TIPS.

hugs and kisses,
-- Harry Tuttle,
Cheif junior assistant overseer, TIA

But... (1)

tomblackwell (6196) | more than 11 years ago | (#4863159)

If everyone had a cell phone with an appropriate modem for their device, there'd be no need for WiFi hostspots...

Re:Good Idea (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4863294)

Interestingly, in theory, the payphones at Toronto's Pearson airport have been free to the general public for some time now, because of "poor cellphone coverage". Apparently, there was a bit of a trade dispute between the airport authority and the cellphone providers. Both sides blame each other, but the deal seems to be that cellphone providers wanted to pay less to be able to put up cells on airport property (while the airport presumably jacked up their prices, to "tax" the cellphone providers.) As a result, at least back in August, the GTAA (Greater Toronto Airport Authority) was providing free local phonecalls from the Bell payphones.

Amusingly, this supposedly "poor cellphone coverage" thing seems to be a myth. When I was flying out of Pearson in mid-August, my reception was just fine. I was able to carry on conversations and check my email without losing my signal.

Congrats on a Great Idea . . . . at least original (-1, Redundant)

mofu (609230) | more than 11 years ago | (#4863077)

1. Install WiFi Access Point at old unused payphone locations 2. ???? 3. Profit!

Re:Congrats on a Great Idea . . . . at least origi (2, Informative)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 11 years ago | (#4863093)

2 is charge out the ass to use them

They (Bell Canada) already have those little cubbie-holes with ethernet jacks at airports, etc, so execs can plug in and surf the net through a really limited proxy. It was like 20 bucks for a half hour last time I saw 'em at Pearson Airpot.

Y'all keep dreaming of your free broadband.

Re:Congrats on a Great Idea . . . . at least origi (2)

TerryAtWork (598364) | more than 11 years ago | (#4863126)

Broadband will never be free, but it'll get cheaper and cheaper....

Re:Congrats on a Great Idea . . . . at least origi (2, Informative)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 11 years ago | (#4863214)

Thats what people thought *before* the .com bust.

I see the price getting higher and higher for less and less service.

Comcast used to offer 2M down, 768k up as its regular service. Now the regular service is 1.5/128, and the aforementioned is the 'Pro' service, at a lofty premium.

Bell Canada, IIRC, now has monthly bandwidth limits on their once 'unlimited' DSL services, and charge by the byte once they're reached.

After all the .com optimism faded away, companies sat around in the boardroom and realised that they'd not only have to *make* a profit, but do it without all the vaporware 'killer apps' that would make everyone and their uncle want their service.

It's all downhill from here on in.. Enjoy the ride.

WiFi Ahoy! (5, Interesting)

explosionhead (574066) | more than 11 years ago | (#4863082)

The problem with all of these WiFi units is that as has been highlighted in previous articles, nobody is entirely sure how to make a profit out of them. As far as I'm concerned, things like Starbucks pay service are a bit too pricey for the casual user, who is generally relying on kind soles to open up APs for free

Oh well, guess we can just hope the leave them free :)

Senseless post! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4863282)

The problem with all of these WiFi units is that as has been highlighted in previous articles, nobody is entirely sure how to make a profit out of them. As far as I'm concerned, things like Starbucks pay service are a bit too pricey for the casual user, who is generally relying on kind soles to open up APs for free

gropecock

Re:WiFi Ahoy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4863334)

Someone get a pringles can, I'm less that 10 clicks from Pearson International Airport.
WhooHoo, free internet here I come!

Re:WiFi Ahoy!...Here's the list of AP locations (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4863384)

Ontario:
Toronto: Union Station
Panorama Lounge, Union Station Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge,
Pearson International Airport, Terminal 2

WhooHooo! I'm in range...gotta find that pringles can !

Kingston: Confederation Park and Marina
St. Lawrence College

Quebec:
Montreal: Panorama Lounge, Central Station
Dorval Airport, Departures Area
Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge, Dorval Airport

Alberta:
Calgary: Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge,
Calgary International Airport

Implications (5, Funny)

Lu Xun (615093) | more than 11 years ago | (#4863084)

Of course, anyone wishing to use these hotspots will have to persuade the clueless moron inside, trying to call home and wondering why his quarter won't fit anywhere, to come out.

Re:Implications (1)

los furtive (232491) | more than 11 years ago | (#4863298)

In Canada the phone 'booth' has all but died. All of these phones are open air against a wall, some of the more modern pay pohones sit on a table in the lounge and only take cards, not change.

Hmmm... (-1, Troll)

tilleyrw (56427) | more than 11 years ago | (#4863085)

Tardis, eat my shorts!

Wow! (4, Funny)

TerryAtWork (598364) | more than 11 years ago | (#4863090)

We've /.'d Bell!

Re:Wow! (1)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 11 years ago | (#4863292)

Nah it just looks like it was a bogus link. The official login for this service is here [www.bell.ca] . Note: Please do not mod me up people as I also linked this in another post.

Note to self... Check eBay.ca later today (5, Funny)

JUSTONEMORELATTE (584508) | more than 11 years ago | (#4863096)

It'd be kinda fun to offer my kids their own phone line, but install a pay phone to cover the cost.
--

This might prove interesting (0)

Burritos (535298) | more than 11 years ago | (#4863143)

http://www.payphone.com/Our_Products/Desktop_Payph ones/909.htm You can do it

Re:Note to self... Check eBay.ca later today (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4863168)

You obviously missed that episode of the Brady Bunch! Let me summarize- 1. the brady family installs a payphone for the kids 2. good family fun aspires!

Re:Note to self... Check eBay.ca later today (2)

Mr_Dyqik (156524) | more than 11 years ago | (#4863225)

is this format going to replace the

1) do something
2) ?
3) profit!

cliche

You obviously missed that episode of the Brady Bunch! Let me summarise-
1) The Brady family invents a new /. cliche for the kids.
2) Good family fun ensues!

Re:Note to self... Check eBay.ca later today (2, Funny)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 11 years ago | (#4863387)

That was a great episode!

Bobby [woz.org] built a bluebox and haxored the phone for free calls!

Then Greg [apple.com] stole all the credit.




Interesting. Why does a alledged techno-visionary like 'Greg' not have a website to share his widsom with the masses?!!

Location Suggestion (3, Funny)

dfn5 (524972) | more than 11 years ago | (#4863098)

I wonder if I can get them to put a payphone with an AP in my living room.

Ha! (-1, Offtopic)

swordboy (472941) | more than 11 years ago | (#4863099)

Soviet Bell Turns the Public into Payphone Hotspots.

Well, you would think... (2)

GMontag (42283) | more than 11 years ago | (#4863100)

with locations in either airports, railway stations or bus terminals in Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Kingston

Well, you would think that they could narrow down the locations better than that.

Toronto? Okay, let's spread out and find where the APs are located here...

Re:Well, you would think... (3, Informative)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 11 years ago | (#4863241)

Check out this [www.bell.ca] page listing the pilot locations on the right side. That's the official page for the service, as a sidenote.

Re:Well, you would think... (3, Informative)

MarkLR (236125) | more than 11 years ago | (#4863251)

From http://www.bce.ca/en/news/releases/bc/2002/12/10/6 9602.html.

During the Bell AccessZone Wi-Fi pilot, users with 802.11b enabled devices will be able to gain free access to Bell's hotspot service in the
following high traffic locations: Toronto's Union Station; Via Rail Panorama lounge in Montreal's Central Station and Toronto's Union Station; the departure area at Montreal's Dorval International Airport; Kingston's Confederation Park and Marina supported by the Kingston Economic Development Corporation; and Kingston's St. Lawrence College. AccessZone is also available in the Air Canada Maple Leaf lounges at Pearson International Airport (Terminal 2), Dorval International Airport, and the Calgary International
Airport and will be installed in all other Maple Leaf Lounge locations. Toronto's Mount Sinai Hospital and Kingston's Frontenac Public Library will also be deploying a Bell AccessZone location in the coming weeks. Other pilot locations will be introduced over the pilot period, which is expected to run until the spring of 2003.

Finding the hotspots (1)

DrJohnEvans (553988) | more than 11 years ago | (#4863335)

Right! We'll systematically try every pay phone downtown. If you can't stick a quarter in it, add it to the list.

What about phreaks? (1, Interesting)

Burritos (535298) | more than 11 years ago | (#4863101)

Is there any chance some phreakers could mess this up?

wifi = Great (5, Informative)

pr0c (604875) | more than 11 years ago | (#4863102)

Sounds like this is a good solution. Why can't electric companies take advantage of this with their electric poles? They can run all their network stuff side by side with their electricity lines and then they could offer phone service / internet service via their network down areas that have nothign but poor dialup. And since they already have the job half done (poles / wiring up) it could be quite cost effective. They could even run the networking down the electric lines themselves, i saw on /. that being done in europe somewhere. Then they could just have some sort of converter to wifi from that.

Re:wifi = Great (1)

Drakin (415182) | more than 11 years ago | (#4863185)

Hmm.. around here, in the older part of town, the Hydro poles already have the cable and phone lines running on 'em anyway.

Re:wifi = Great (2)

BrookHarty (9119) | more than 11 years ago | (#4863234)

Actually Microsoft was doing a joint venture here in Seattle, where they used power poles, but I cant remember what the name of the product. Microsoft has too many wireless products to remember which one. (-;

Why power companies aren't doing this (5, Insightful)

Nonac (132029) | more than 11 years ago | (#4863374)

Phone companies have almost free bandwidth back to their own ISP. Power companies don't. They'd have to pay both a phone company and an ISP for bandwidth.

Tape Recorder Hacking (5, Funny)

Nevermore-Spoon (610798) | more than 11 years ago | (#4863106)

remember the old taping the sounds a quarter makes when insterted in the coin slot and playing it back into the phone to get free longdistance?...wonder how long till someone makes a knoppix disk that boots up and gives free WiFi access

Re:Tape Recorder Hacking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4863182)

Ahh, the days of the redbox. It brings back so many memories of the good things that have come and gone in our past. Anyone else remember the blotto box? The entire list of boxes was just insane.

Re:Tape Recorder Hacking (0)

Burritos (535298) | more than 11 years ago | (#4863213)

No, I wasn't doing phreaking much in the days of the blotto box. However, I managed to find a large list of boxes, including a new one made by Captain Bizarro called the Executioner Box.
http://www.artofhacking.com/boxrvidx.htm

There's something.. (5, Funny)

craenor (623901) | more than 11 years ago | (#4863115)

About using the words Canada and Hotspot in the same sentence that just seems wrong in so many ways...maybe it's just me, eh?

I don't get it (-1)

BlackTriangle (581416) | more than 11 years ago | (#4863205)

Does this have something to do with Java and Hotspot being invented by a Canadian (Gosling)'s underlings, or something to do with the perception that the entirety of Canada is completely dull, from coast to coast - a perception shared by the less cosmopolitan elements of the world anyways.

Not sure I ever understood that one, I've been to Boston, home of Havhahd, supposedly where your best and brightest congregate... what a dull shithole.

Re:There's something.. (2)

aron_wallaker (93905) | more than 11 years ago | (#4863405)

using the words Canada and Hotspot in the same sentence that just seems wrong in so many ways...

Unless you add the word 'hockey'!

Terrorists. (5, Funny)

FreeLinux (555387) | more than 11 years ago | (#4863131)

Well, there you have it. It's always been suspected that the Canadians were terrorists but, this proves it. Only last week was the US Justice Department talking about the criminality of open access points and now Canada does this.

Karma: Excellent -- Well, we'll just see about that!

Re:Terrorists. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4863236)

Why would this be a troll? The friggin recent article on covered on Slashdot tied APs and Terrorism together! Of course, under the beloved Homeland's games rules, a cottonball could be tied to terrorism.

Re:Terrorists can't compete anymore (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4863242)

Chemical warfare.

Has anyone tried pepsi blue berry cola fusion?
Basically they took the overpowering berry smell used in carpet cleaners and added club soda. Somehow they managed to not mix the tastes, at first you have a gag reflex from the chalky berry smell on your tounge, then this bitter club soda... I'd like to through it away but what if this stuff gets released into the environment?

Important Stuff:
Please try to keep posts on topic. -1

Try to reply to other people's comments instead of starting new threads. +1

Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said. +5

Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about. +1

Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page) -10

Re:Terrorists. (1)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 11 years ago | (#4863264)

Yes, but so long as they keep the beer, hockey players and Red Green flowing, we'll just turn a blind eye :)

How do you take payments on this? (5, Insightful)

mhesseltine (541806) | more than 11 years ago | (#4863140)

Ok, I understand how, with a "Public Internet Terminal" like those cheesy ads on DirecTV, you get paid by people putting in money or swiping a credit card. How does this work with a wireless access point? Your card is going to pick up a signal. You may not want to key your credit card info over the airwaves to this unknown box. Do you walk up to the box, swipe your card, then key in the MAC address of your wireless card?

Basically, what's phase 2 where

  1. Install public 802.11 access point
  2. ???
  3. Profit.

Re:How do you take payments on this? (2, Insightful)

pr0c (604875) | more than 11 years ago | (#4863207)

I don't understand all the ins and outs of networking perfectly but it seams this would be simple..

1.) You enter the "hot spot"
2.) The terminal picks up your network card and gets the mac address
3.) If your network card is set on DHCP then no matter what URL you bring up it redirects you to a payment gateway
4.) after you pay you get to go anywhere :)

Sounds too easy to me, perhaps this isn't possible hehe..

Re:How do you take payments on this? (5, Insightful)

HeghmoH (13204) | more than 11 years ago | (#4863209)

I don't know how they actually do it, but one easy scheme comes to mind. The network is kept open, but unidentified users are blocked. Any port 80 requests are redirected to their authentication server which asks for your username and password. It also has a signup page where you can give your credit card number and get a username instantly. Once you authenticate, outbound connection are allowed, and you're good to go. If you're afraid of putting in your credit card over a wireless connection, well, one hopes they'd use https, and if you don't trust that, then you should probably just keep all your money in your mattress anyway.

Re:How do you take payments on this? (3, Insightful)

swb (14022) | more than 11 years ago | (#4863343)

Hmm.

1) Hijack access point
2) Fake service payment screens via same intercept tech
3) Profit, illegally

IN SOVIET RUSSIA, 1. PROFIT, 2. ???, 3. WI-FI PORT (-1)

Subject Line Troll (581198) | more than 11 years ago | (#4863443)

Re:How do you take payments on this? (1)

mrseigen (518390) | more than 11 years ago | (#4863210)

Accountability is also a big deal here; public anonymous wi-fi hotspots leave enormous potential for abuse (possibly more than the pay phones next to them?).

It is a pretty cool idea, though. If we had pay WiFi spots at a decent price, I might be able to justify an iPaq or Zaurus with wireless.

Re:How do you take payments on this? (0, Redundant)

Lerxst Pratt (618277) | more than 11 years ago | (#4863224)

Keeping in mind that I cannot get to the article...

I'm under the impression that you don't have to swipe anything. Being a WiFi point, you'd just have to be within 90 yards of the booth (or something like that) and have instant WiFi access served via DHCP I suppose.

This brings up a couple even more intriguing questions: When going to a fee-based service, how do you filter out paying customers from non-paying customers? Would the customer be registered with Bell with their particular MAC addresses? Would Bell charge by the minute? Would the bill just appear at home with your regular phone bill?

Re:How do you take payments on this? (2)

Ed Avis (5917) | more than 11 years ago | (#4863248)

Step 2: Buy up land surrounding wireless access point and rent it to shops (and maybe the occasional business that doesn't want to build its own network infrastructure).

But that requires too much investment and probably isn't a good use of capital, unless you wanted to get into the land business anyway.

Re:How do you take payments on this? (5, Informative)

wowbagger (69688) | more than 11 years ago | (#4863339)

Easy:

1) Your laptop/PDA/whatever requests an IP address via DHCP.
2) Access point hands out IP address, makes a note against that IP address that "has not paid yet"
3) At this point, all that you can do is access HTTP and DNS.
4) You point your browser at any web site - let's say http://slashdot.org for grins.
5) DNS succeeds.
6) Your computer does an HTTP GET.
7) Access device sees you've not paid yet. Sends HTTP REDIRECT to https://fork.it.over.to.me
8) Your laptop looks that up. Gets an IP address.
9) Your laptop requests page.
10) Page comes up - input credit card here.
11) You do so. Access device marks you has "paid for 1 Hour". Ports open up.
12) You again try /., and it goes through.

https Re:How do you take payments on this? (2)

WolfWithoutAClause (162946) | more than 11 years ago | (#4863351)

No biggee actually. WiFi has identical security to the internet.

First you get an account. You can do that using https; https will ensure that nobody nearby can see your CC details. Normal authentication will allow you to check the URL before signing on.

Once you have an account they need to protect your/their bandwidth from theft. They can do that with VPN software; the VPN software will prevent you from connecting to the wrong box.

Re:How do you take payments on this? (1)

eli173 (125690) | more than 11 years ago | (#4863420)


Basically, what's phase 2 where

Install public 802.11 access point
???
Profit.


What if you swipe your card and paid $x for 15 minute blocks of use... and during that time anyone/everyone can use it?
It might have some interesting social consequences...
"Internet access is on me!" "Yay!"
"Anyone else want to split the cost of some 'net time?" "I'll buy 30 minutes if you will."

Those who don't want to pay can wait for others to do so. Those who need access can buy it. Those who don't want to pay get 25% of a download and time runs out... they now have some incentive to pay that they didn't have before...

Hmm...

eli

Do existing agreements cover this? (5, Interesting)

Nonac (132029) | more than 11 years ago | (#4863148)

Plus the added benefit of not having to negotiate new agreements with property management and landlords

This assumes that their existing agreements allow them to conduct any sort of transaction on the covered property. If it limits them to phone service, they will have to renegotiate. I can't imagine many property managers would sign an agreement that lets them put anything they want in that spot.

Re:Do existing agreements cover this? (3, Insightful)

PatientZero (25929) | more than 11 years ago | (#4863416)

I would guess that the contracts allow Bell Canada to use the space for any "communications service." I seriously doubt they would have limited themselves by specifying just "phone service."

I'm just glad that's one place I haven't seen pasted over with advertising.

Link (5, Informative)

loconet (415875) | more than 11 years ago | (#4863170)

Here is a working link [www.bce.ca] which talks about the service.

Should be interesting competition for starbucks and the like who wanted to come to Toronto and setup hotspots.

Re:Link (1)

stevey (64018) | more than 11 years ago | (#4863398)

Seems to me that if you're outside using a free access point you're gonna get cold - and would like nothing better than a nice starbucks coffee....

This is all well and good... (0, Flamebait)

jhawkins (609878) | more than 11 years ago | (#4863180)

Until some 'Consumer Protection' group such as the Center for Science in the Public Interest [cspinet.org] does some expose (looking at their home page, I see: "Death on the Half Shell", "America: Drowining in Sugar", "Liquid Candy Report", "Tax Junk Foods!").

Someone will come out with some half-assed story that you can catch herpes from using these APs just like you can get the germs from the public phone handset. You will have to spray your laptop down with lysol before using, so you don't get viruses from the box that looks like a public phone.

Re:This is all well and good... (1)

los furtive (232491) | more than 11 years ago | (#4863341)

Are you trying to make a point, or push an agenda? Get off the soap box and start living your life.

US Gov declares Bell as a Terrorist organizazation (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4863184)

In keeping with it's new policy of declaring free wireless access as a means of aiding terroists, the US government put Bell on it's list of terrorist organizations and warned all companies that they risk the same fate if they adopt free wireless access.
The US military has sent a Delta force team into Bell HQ to take down the terrorist ring leader.

Picture (5, Informative)

loconet (415875) | more than 11 years ago | (#4863193)

Here is some more info [www.bell.ca] on the hotspots, including a picture of it!

hotspots (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4863194)

does this mean that one can get laid at the telephone booth? oh, i hope sooooooooo. oh, and btw, FUCK CANADA! the only thing good that exists in canada is labatt and molson beer. other than that, it's just a frozen waste with a bunch of whacked-out us wannabees. as for quebec - don't even mention it; fucking frog wannabes are the worst. it's kind of like wanting to be a fucking raghead from east timor.

Sounds a bit like "Zone Phones" (1, Offtopic)

redbaron7 (577469) | more than 11 years ago | (#4863212)

ZonePhones (and a couple of competing products) were around in the UK in the 1980s, about the same time as the first cellphones came out with which they competed. Receiving stations were positioned in various public places - airports, stations, motorway service stations, etc. Or that was the idea. Can't remember the exact coverage maybe 100m radius - definitely not much more, probably less. So a bit like a cross between a cellphone and one of those wireless telephones you can buy for your home. Their advantage over the "brick" cellphones of the day, were their size - more like modern cellphones. But "brick" cellphones had the advantage of large areas of coverage, whilst zonephones were limited to a few hotspots here and there.

Needless to say the scheme was a spectacular failure. Last time I looked at Greenweld [greenweld.co.uk] they had some of the base station parts available as surplus.

RB

Don't expect a free ride from Ma Bell (4, Informative)

waldo2020 (592242) | more than 11 years ago | (#4863216)

Especially in Canada. This the ISP that was first in Canada to impose 5 Gbyte bitcaps on so called "unlimted" usage, after redefining what they observed "unlimited" to mean in the AUP. Their 50$/CDN ADSL-lite per month doesn't include about 28$CDN for a typical land line required. Recently they have enjoyed a customer expansion due to promotions offered only to new customers, but have failed to expand their infrastructure to accomodate the higher loads. They offer a lousy 1Mbit "high speed" ADL-lite or 3Mbit "ultra"(good luck unless you are next door to a central office!) which is the only broadband option to cable based service.Worse, they are pushing their lame anti-virus and spam filter services for 5$cdn a pop. They are so generous - they even have a 35$ adsl "basic" - the 1Mbit product cranked down to only 128Kbit and 1Gbyte capped. Bell has never given anything free - don't expect then to start now- you'll be pulling out your wallet very soon;)

Re:Don't expect a free ride from Ma Bell (2)

grub (11606) | more than 11 years ago | (#4863423)


that was first in Canada to impose 5 Gbyte bitcaps on so called "unlimted" usage

My ISP called saying I was using more bandwidth than "the average user". I replied "an average is made up of highs and lows, correct? I'm just keeping the average up." The lady asked me to cool the downloads but I've never heard back from them.

the answer to how to charge is easy... (5, Interesting)

Traicovn (226034) | more than 11 years ago | (#4863220)

"How you get people to pay for it is the big question," said Lawrence Surtees, an analyst at consultancy IDC Canada Ltd., adding that customers in the United States seem to think the service should be free.

Simple. Allow people to pay by purchasing prepaid cards or using their credit card and charging in block periods of 10 minutes. What's funny is that free wifi could possibly hurt the bell companies already failing payphone services even more if services that allow 'free long distance calls over the internet' become popular again. Although there is the bottleneck issue with wireless connections which would prevent that, plus the poor quality of such services usually (although I often get poor quality from many high-use area pay phones as well)

Re:the answer to how to charge is easy... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4863403)

Another possibility would of course be to add advertisements to the bottoms and tops of all pages that users viewed, such as through a proxy server or other similar service... However ads tend to be a poor source of revenue... A combination of both is also possible.

Re:the answer to how to charge is easy... (2, Informative)

rawrslashdot (628551) | more than 11 years ago | (#4863435)

I suspect they'll probably charge people in a similar way to how they currently charge for their Sympatico (http://www.sympatico.ca) dial up and high-speed ADSL service. A flat monthly fee, for 'unlimited' usage. Unless you go over their monthly Gbit upload/download limit, in which case they charge you an arm and a leg for going over.

More warchaking symbols? (1)

Stavr0 (35032) | more than 11 years ago | (#4863233)

Closed node with a dollar/euro sign inside to indicate paid access.

Pay phones are "Public Hotspots"? (-1, Flamebait)

fobbman (131816) | more than 11 years ago | (#4863246)

Geez, I know that things can be dull up in the Great White North, but pay phones? Don't you guys have Nintendo up there to keep you from dying of boredom?

Re:Pay phones are "Public Hotspots"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4863376)

ok, troll.. i'll bite.

You apparently did not notice that the access point was placed in union station, on the train platform, where commuters wait for their trains (and sometimes wait ON them).

a perfect place for such a thing.

what's the matter, jealous that your country is cracking down on your freedoms? move up here, there's plenty of room for disaffected americans.

Um, ok, I don't care. (-1, Troll)

sinnyin (530106) | more than 11 years ago | (#4863254)

Don't care about this, heh.

Also from Bell (5, Informative)

digidave (259925) | more than 11 years ago | (#4863265)

This took place at Toronto's Union Station, which I walk through every day. Bell also has Internet phones mounted in place of regular phones in a few places there.

I've never used one of these Internet phones, but they're basically a regular phone with a larger colour LCD display, keyboard and laptop-like pointing device. It's a pretty cool idea, but I've never seen anybody use it and I wonder if very many people would pay for wireless Internet access in a train station where 99% of the people don't wait long for a train during rush hour.

Also of note, Bell's ISP, Sympatico, has stand-alone pay per minute Internet access terminals in the station. Why would Bell compete with itself on so many levels?

Re:Also from Bell (4, Insightful)

gorilla (36491) | more than 11 years ago | (#4863330)

Why would Bell compete with itself on so many levels?

I think it's because it's basically a win-win situation. In places like Union station there are banks of pay phones, and maybe enough traffic to justify 10% or 20% of them. Replacing one phone with an Wifi stand, another with an internet phone and a third with a calling card machine, and they've still got enough pay phones to cover all the traffic. The wifi stand and the internet phone are competing with each other, but the sum is greater than either alone would be.

Re:Also from Bell (1)

mrobinso (456353) | more than 11 years ago | (#4863370)

> Why would Bell compete with itself on so many
> levels?

It's an age old marketing technique called saturation. :P

Basically, you flood a market with competing products, to give the illusion of choice. Some people hate Bell but don't mind Sympatico.

People get confused, and make impulse decisions. Better have 6 products in the competing sector than 1. More targets === better odds.

The little guy gets shut out by the big guy, who sells to the little guy anyway.

Very few companies can compete with Bell at their level. Sympatico and Bell are two distinct entities, and each has a separate group of investors demanding return.

It makes sense to do this, on so many levels. Of course, making sense doesn't always make cents.

Regards
Mike Robinson

Ok, for the collective good, I'll behave.
Gimme back my karma now.

Re:Also from Bell (1)

Traicovn (226034) | more than 11 years ago | (#4863427)

Why would Bell compete with itself on so many levels

Simple. If you can offer more options for people, and avoid cost overruns, then you have more chances of making profit. Also, they are testing the waters to see where new markets may be. They perhaps aren't competing with themselves as much as they are 'testing the waters' and experimenting with new marketing ideas.

Got quarters? (2, Funny)

Wireless Joe (604314) | more than 11 years ago | (#4863276)

This is great and all, but when they decide to start charging for the service I just can't imagine dropping quarters in every 2-3 minutes. When your time is almost up, will Windows Media Player pop up with Lily Tomlin advising you to "Please insert another 25 cents for the next three minutes of bandwidth, or you will be disconnect-ed."


Relax, it's a joke.

Great for VoIP... (2, Interesting)

leeet (543121) | more than 11 years ago | (#4863288)

I guess it's a move the industry was waiting (ie: was scared of)... VoIP....

That's a nice way to regain some lost marketshare. It'll probably be a matter of time until VoIP cell phones hit the market in Canada...
If you can't beat them, join them... (and make them pay)

Not in Ottawa (1)

i_zarf (601135) | more than 11 years ago | (#4863313)

They did it again. They dissed Ottawa. I can find no reference to free coverage provided in Ottawa and I wanted to go to the airport to download the latest Linux distros for free. Bah humbug.

pricing model (4, Insightful)

matman (71405) | more than 11 years ago | (#4863314)

Here's a pricing model - register with Bell Canada through normal means (mail, phone, internet, etc) and obtain a digital certificate that authenticates you, to them. Before being allowed out through the DSL modem, some gateway would check to ensure that the digital certificate was signed by bell; it would record how much you use the system and report to Bell's central system. They would then bill you at the end of the month. Bell would have to make it easy to do the certificate authentication; I'm thinking IPSec or a browser certificate that would be necessary to get through a proxy. There are many possible solutions on the technical side.

Swingin'! (0, Offtopic)

mph (7675) | more than 11 years ago | (#4863318)

What's next? A pink hotel and a boutique?

Never in the US (3, Funny)

Genady (27988) | more than 11 years ago | (#4863325)

You see, Open 802.11 networks are a threat to our national security.

Once again (1)

dethl (626353) | more than 11 years ago | (#4863331)

the small towns are fucked over again.

Hey telecommunications industry, how bout giving all of us people in "small" towns access to broadband? I hate seeing new technology coming out in larger cities and never seeing the older tech coming to my town. Maybe if Sprint would ever get off their bum, my town would have access to 3G....heh, I'm not holding my breath

and yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4863352)

one step closer to the [b]mark of the beast technology.[/b]

Correction the Bell URL is... (1)

turing0 (551406) | more than 11 years ago | (#4863355)

The Bell URL for info on the trial is: http://www.bell.ca/accesszone

Wait a second (2)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 11 years ago | (#4863409)

Bell has still not determined the pricing model

Uhm... so they don't know how to make money from this yet? Okay, this isn't gonna last.

Read on please... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4863426)

I have something to tel...

Karma Whoring (2, Informative)

Znonymous Coward (615009) | more than 11 years ago | (#4863433)

Original link is dead. Use this one instead [www.bell.ca]

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