802.11b to be in a spot near you soon...Whether you can afford the service is another matter. The Register has a news item detailing the rollout of 802.11b hot spots around the country. The first hot spots are to be at Heathrow Hilton, BT Centre in London and Adastral Park, Martlesham Heath, Suffolk.
There is promise of around 400 hot spots in a years time and 4000 of them by 2005. What is most dissappointing is the price of the service at £95 plus VAT for unmetered access and 10 pence per minute for a pay as you go service, plus the ability to buy just a few hours access at a reduced price. So the cool idea of browsing the web using 802.11b while waiting at a train station on a PDA still seems to be something that will remain the domain of City Brokers with Porsche sized bonuses. At these prices even as fixed access for home users near to a hot spot it still seems expensive. Even more so when you consider that no indication is given of what the contention will be like for the back haul bandwidth and if your are on the edge of the range you may only get a reduced 802.11b speed.