Olympics Wi-Fi Police

@SadaoTurner posted this image of Olympics wi-fi police, who seek unauthorized wi-fi signals and shut them down. Why go through all that trouble? Because Olympic partner BT runs some 1,500 paid hotspots at the event. Via The Verge


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Rogue WiFi hotspots can take down the offical network and leave everyone without Internet. This is more than brand protection (unlike the "no fries except in fish and chips" rule).
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There's only 13 legal channels for use in England; since there is overlap of the high and low frequencies of each channel, you can really only have three interference-free hotspots in a given area, so the engineers have doubtless gone to great lengths to place the APs on specific channels distinct for each location to give the best chance of interference-free use for all.

That they chose to charge money for use of the infrastructure is an orthogonal decision -- but having guys with tools to find "rogue" transmitters is a simple matter of politeness. Without those guys, it probably wouldn't work well for anyone, rogue or paying user.
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Arrynne: Are you a flak for hire, or volunteer?

Unless they're trying to take down the network (even then it's not easy), not-for-pay hotspots will not take down the network. Of course you know this, Arrynne.
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