Google Engineer claims WiFi hotspots to blame for shoddy connections at IO

Posted On Sep 21 2019 by

With all of the exciting things that happened at Google I/O, one of the most commonly heard conversations was that of network failure. There were complaints of mobile networks coming and going (more T-Mobile than anything else) or not getting signal in parts of the Moscone West. Mobile wasn’t the only complaint, and depending on the time of day it wasn’t event the loudest complaint. Google deployed a WiFi network across the entirety of the Moscone West, and included the login credentials with every pass in to the event. Despite Google’s best efforts, however, the wireless network at this event was often called some of the worst seen at any event. Why, you ask? According to Google, the problem came from portable hotspots.5,000 people in attendance. 5,000 tech enthusiasts, most of which with smartphones capable of generating mobile hotspots. On top of that, the hundreds of press in attendance in attendance all needed access to the web during the event, and not all (or even most) of them had an ethernet port on their computer to take advantage of the wired internet provided. At least a bunch of them, however, were probably reviewing some of the new Verizon LTE MiFi units, and surely brought them with.According to one of the Google Engineers responsible for setting up the network at I/O, there was simply no way to compete with the dozens of mobile hotspots being generated. In fact, during the second day keynote, the announcer’s warning had changed to “please disable your wireless hotspots before the presentation”.The issue seems unsustainable. WiFi networks were really not built with the intent of handling thousands of users simultaneously. Combine that with the fact that tech enthusiasts are showing up at these events with more than a single WiFi capable device, and at the second day of I/O there was an additional 5,000 WiFi capable devices handed out, it seems there’s a need for a more elegant solution. A solution that will offer the connectivity users demand, and be able to function alongside users who will be bringing their own internet with them.As more web connected devices begin to infiltrate the home, as children are individually given computers that will be competing with our Smart TV’s, our TIVO’s, our smartphones, tablets, and refrigerators, this problem will eventually infiltrate the home. Our web connected world is in need of a fix, whatever that fix might be. read more