Skype gives access to wireless networks

The latest beta version of Skype (for OSX only, apparently) offers something called “Skype Access”, which makes it possible to pay for access to commercial WiFi networks through a per minute basis using your SkypeOut account.

I recall reading this when I downloaded the latest beta a couple of weeks ago, but didn’t think much about it before I opened my MacBook at the Brussels airport last week and saw a “do you want to pay using SkypeOut” message on screen. I often check to see if there are any available networks around airports, but most of the time you have to pay some ridiculous amount of money for connecting in a few hours (in Europe that is, in the US I have come across many airports that provide WiFi for free). However, most of the time I only need to access the internet for a few minutes to send and receive e-mails and check a few things online. Well, now I was connected to the WiFi in Brussels airport for 1 minute and 50 seconds, and paid only NOK 1,25 per minute. Great!

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Alexander Refsum Jensenius is a music researcher and research musician living in Oslo, Norway.