Today Telstra’s CEO David Thodey launched the company’s new public Wi-Fi network that the telco hopes to roll out to two million locations across Australia.
In using Telefonica’s Fon service, the idea is to equip customers on landline connections – ADSL, cable TV or Fibre – with a public wireless hotspot. The telco can then offer public Wi-Fi as a service.
With well over half the country’s Internet market, Telstra can deliver reasonably good coverage with such a network in the same way BT does with their Wi-Fi that’s already providing this service in the UK with the same technology.
Today’s announcement isn’t the first time Telstra has launched a municipal Wi-Fi service, five years ago they launched a product that quietly slipped into obscurity.
At today’s launch, David Thodey mentioned that previous service and put it down to the immaturity of the technology.
Several generations of Wi-Fi technology later, it may be the new product is more reliable and stable than the last failed attempt and sees far better take up rates.
Which leads us to a truism in the technology industry – everything old is new again.
In fact, most of the technology we talk about today such as cloud computing, social media and citywide Wi-Fi has been around for years under different names.
What makes say cloud computing today more successful than software as a service a decade a go is that the current technology makes the products more reliable and accessible.
That’s another affect of the Gartner hype cycle, that as one technology recovers from the trough of disillusionment it gets renamed and spawns the adoption of a bunch of other neglected concepts or ideas.
As with much in businesses, the adoption of technology is as much a matter of timing as it is expertise.