Kiss goodbye to high-speed public WiFi services

I was quite pleased to hear that the BBC - fresh from launching its iPlayer TV program streaming service the other month - has started beta testing the iPlayer for the Apple iPhone and iTouch.

I've been playing with the iTouch version over the weekend and have well impressed with the video quality across a WiFi connection.

Looking at my router stats, however, reveals that the iPlayer for iPhone/iTouch squirts data down the pipe at an astonishing 400 to 500,000 bits per second.

No wonder the quality of the image is so good.

This places only a modest workload on my office ADSL2Plus broadband connection which hums along at around 10 Mbps down and 1.1 Mbps upstream.

On a coffee shop connection, however, the effect is devastating. I took my iTouch for a walk on Saturday morning to a Cloud location and also powered up my laptop.

The laptop WiFi connection was seriously degraded when my iTouch started downloading an iPlayer stream. As did a couple of other Cloud users in the pub.

Perhaps worse, my laptop Internet connection using Steganos Anonym, which I use as a default VPN application when out and about froze up and eventually timed out on me.

Basically most secure VPN software/systems like Steganos Anonym need a healthy full duplex broadband connection to work properly.

One iTouch running the iPlayer and it zonked the connection.

I suspect that, as the iPlayer takes off, laptop VPN users could experience connection problems before too long.

I wonder if the BBC is aware of this issue?...