Our colleague and WNN's senior editor heads to Ireland: Nancy Gohring heads in a couple of weeks to Dublin, Ireland, for the indefinite future. Her husband successfully beat down the competition for a Dublin-based position with his multinational employer, and the two of them leapt at the opportunity to live in a place even colder in winter than Chicago, their home before Seattle.
Nancy will be reporting from Europe for Wi-Fi Networking News and other publications, and we plan to expand our focus beyond our narrow provincial continental U.S. confines in the process.
In celebration of her near-term arrival in Dublin, Eircom has added 50 free hotspots to the city. On a recent trip there, Nancy had some difficulty finding any locations at first, but received incredible help from residents who have cemented the friendly and sharing nature of that city.
The Eircom hotspots are connected to payphones--45 of them of in that configuration--with five more to be turned on by the end of the year. The company has a goal of 250 hotspots nationwide in 2005. Eircom will be offering service for free in 14 Republic of Ireland McDonald's outlets.
Service will be absurdly expensive in three to four months: €10 for one hour and €20 for 24 hours. The adoption curve remains low in Europe, apparently, and this is obviously one of the reasons. Comparable service in the U.S. typically varies from always free to US$4 or US$5 per hour up to US$10 per day for whole network access (T-Mobile).
As the article notes, "A report by the Broad Group has said that even though prices in Europe are trending downwards they are still above those in other regions. The report has noted that hotspot use has increased as prices have decreased."