A WI-FIhotspot is a site that offersInternet accessover awireless local area network(WLAN) through the use of arouterconnected to a link and to anInternet service provider.
Are there any WI-FI hotspots in Accra? This is the question I puzzled my puny little mind with on a Thursday afternoon with my trusted WI-FI connection on No Internet Access.
“Why would I bother asking such a vague question”, you might ask. This is because to me a computer without an internet connection is the same as having a type-writer that happens to be a TV set ( you know, the old un-smart TVs that had a TV/VCR combo which I still use), thing is; to me the internet is very expensive!
It’s very difficult to survive my world without the internet; some have even gone to the extent to argue that “the internet is to this generation what alcohol was to the last”. I would not go as far as describing our “senior learned colleagues” as alcoholics but there is something quite magical about not having to leaf through dozens of pages to get to that one line you need to check the veracity of something you are writing (provided you know where to look on the WWW) or finding inspiration on the web or watching porn in a Cameron-free country whilst you combat your “writer’s block” (convenient excuse eh).
CONNECTING TO A SECURE NETWORK REQUIRES A NETWORK SECURITY KEY WHICH I HAVE FOUND DUE TO EXPERIENCE IMPOSSIBLE TO GUESS.
Back to the internet expense part, I have a modem and on a very good day it would cost me 15 cedis for a 30-day 1.2Gb package (on a not very fast link despite the speed they promised in the ad) or 1 cedi per hour at that mosquito infested (no privacy) den that serves as an internet café. What I hate about my modem is that my money doesn’t expire so why does my data have to expire after 30days even if I don’t race through it within that period and about the café it’s simple I can’t take the internet home so I either have to use all the data or come back within a seven day period after which my code would have expired.
I am very excited about GOOGLES’ PROJECT LOON which aims to give affordable internet access to the 4.8billion people who cannot get online by using “WI-FI balloons”.
I know of three places that I can describe as Hotspots, the first of which I can connect to because of work-related reasons I have their code, the second because even though their connection has a pass-key their security is not too tight so every once in a while you can skip through, the third used to be internet paradise really; their connection is faster than my café there is a glorious outdoor breeze, shade and there used to be a charging slot which has been disconnected (which is why it no longer qualifies as paradise) due to abuse.
In this day and age (GH cliché alert) of economy and austerity, it is crucial for the individual to be able to save pesewas in every way he/she can. For myself being like the secretaries who only make 30-minute calls whilst in the office I have found free internet as a means of saving money.
It is the purpose of this article to elicit response from readers of this post as to places they would describe as hotspots in Accra and also for them to indicate whether they are password protected or otherwise. I am not sure what our good old document from 1992 (the constitution) has to say about using an internet connection in 2013 without permission but feel free to share your passwords and locations with your comments here or on twitter @ www.twitter.com/arsonv.