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WiFi sharing to build coverage in The Netherlands

Quid pro quo arrangements involve a broadband customer sharing his/her link in exchange for the right to share other users' links when out and about. The idea has been around for a while, but it does seem to be getting a fresh look as WiFi networks grow (see - BT re-entering the mobile market?).

Dutch cable operator Ziggo is launching a nationwide Wi-Fi network using its cable broadband customers' WiFi connections. The company says it will have 65, 000 hotspots up and running in The Hague almost immediately and plans a busy summer connecting up to 1 million more hotspot customers by the end of August, it's claimed.

Those customers will be able to roam about and share WiFi network connections, very much along the lines of what's already being done by FON and BT in the UK with BT's OpenZone offering.

Ziggo has no doubt done its research and one of the slight problems with the concept, as instantiated by FON, was probably the idea of sharing the link. What about security and throughput?

To overcome this potential objection, Ziggo has majored on 'total separation' between client network and hotspot. Not only does this, claims the company, guarantee security and privacy but the separation is engineered in such a way that 'hotspot' activity on the WiFi doesn't affect the client's (owner of the broadband link) performance... at all.

Each hotspot can take up to 20 guest users simultaneously and there's a once-only log-in procedure.

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