Tag Archives: free wifi

Free wifi in Blackheath?

There is no cat
As John asked in the previous squirrelly post about wifi, I thought we should have a specific post about it here. (The squirrels aren’t that interested in wifi).

The only free wifi in Blackheath that I’ve managed to find has been in the Blackheath Royal Standard Pub. It was encrypted though, so you’d have to go and ask the staff for the password… However, I have wandered around Blackheath before and spotted various unencrypted wifi points, but never actually accessed them. (Although, just because they’re not encrypted, doesn’t mean that they will work).

I’ve never understood why the some of the many coffee shops in Blackheath don’t offer it. I would have thought that it would differentiate them from their many competitors, but maybe they don’t want the laptop users eking out a single cup of coffee out all morning solely to soak up the wifi beams.

I first saw the quote above on a website called nocat.net years ago, back when I was at university, and email addresses were full of numbers. The site was dedicated to the idea of free wireless access provided by enthusiasts. The idea was that if you were of a technical nature, and had spare bandwidth, you could offer your wireless router to the nearby community, and by a system of maps, find out who else was offering wifi too.

Sadly the site is quite old now, and hasn’t been updated for several years, but the idea is still a good one I think. So, if any bright spark in Petite Boulangerie Jade, or Handmade Foods is listening – get your routers opened up!

If I hear of any more coming online, I’ll be sure to add them to this post.

Photo of Einstein from Wikipedia.

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One less phone box in Blackheath

Phone box being removed in Blackheath

On Sunday, I spotted two men fiddling with the phone box on Tranquil Vale. I assumed they were repairing or fixing it. When I asked them they said “No, it’s going”. So, one less phone box for Blackheath. I have mixed feelings about these pay phones.

Red phone box

Everyone claims to love the way that traditional red phone boxes look, but I vividly remember the way that they used to pong… Stale tobacco and god knows what else. But the new ones didn’t have the style, even if they functioned better.

This is what I don’t understand… BT has this spectacular quantity of small parcels of land in public areas that are powered by electricity, and connected to their telephone network. Why don’t they modify each one to become part of a wireless network? Wireless connectivity in this country is still pretty patchy, even in London. If they offered it as a free service to their landline subscribers, it might stop their exodus to other companies.

I’ve often wanted to do a spot of wardriving around Blackheath, to see where any free wifi might be. But with no GPS unit, and no car, it’s not likely to happen in the near future. However, if anyone else has the inclination to do it, download netstumbler, and let me know what you discover. Googling suggests that the Royal Standard pub might have some?

Phone box photo from Flickr user rbrwr.

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