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Inside Tech: World’s weirdest wi-fi

18 · MAR ·2016

Latest research from iPass (if 2014 can still be classed as latest) has revealed that there are currently 50 million wi-fi hotspots around the world; do the maths, this equates to around one hotspot per 150 people. Currently Europe leads the way in terms of coverage; however Asia is expected to overtake them as the number of hotspots rises to 340 million (about 1 per 20) by 2018. Quite understandably, most of these hotspots are actually in people’s homes – but if you spend enough time on Google (like me) then you start to realise that you can find a wi-fi connection in the most unusual of places, most unusual indeed.

Cemeteries

Look, cemeteries are not particularly fun and they’re not meant to be. You go to pay your respects and that’s about it - which is why I’m frankly amazed that Oak Grove Cemetery in Kentucky gives their customers’ access to wi-fi. It’s like some hip millennial took over management and decided that the customer base was incredibly old and installed wi-fi to attract a younger crowd.

Did it work? I don’t know, probably not as I made it up. Not the cemetery part, that’s true. The actual reason for its existence was so that visitors could do some genealogy research... which is quite clever, actually.

The North Pole

Yes, in a place where it’s always cold they have a hotspot. We can only assume that whoever ordered it must have been incredibly disappointed to find out that a hotspot was actually wi-fi connectivity and not an electric cushion. Especially as he probably ordered it online and therefore already has the internet.

Installed in 2005 at a Barneo ice camp, wi-fi at the North Pole was put in place to push the limits of technology – basically to see if it was possible. Some people might say it was a waste of time installing wi-fi in a place where nobody was going to use it, but hey, at least it is somewhat habitable at the North Pole, it’s not like they put a hotspot on the moon or anything. Oh wait…

The Moon

Look, if you’re trying to get on Instagram whilst you’re on the moon then you’ve probably just confused being on Space Mountain for actually, you know, being in space and your name probably ends with Kardashian.

Cheap jokes aside, with a 622 Mb/s downstream and 20 Mb/s upstream, the moon’s net is positively sick, especially when you think about how bad the astronauts at the ISS have it. Seriously, if I was an astronaut aboard the International Space Station and I was getting internet that was 2000x slower than the moon (which has a population of 0) then I’d be seriously cheesed off.

Cheap moon cheese jokes aside, how it works is simple, or not simple, I don’t know I’m just copying down what I’ve read somewhere else so you can decide. Basically, four satellites in New Mexico shoot pulses of infrared light to the moon some 238,900 miles away and that then equals the internet. Sorry, I can't go into more technical details here but I'm just so annoyed on behalf of the astronauts at the ISS with that slow internet. I'm out.

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Posted by Sanita Karra