Checking phones every few minutes is something that has become second nature to most. At home or abroad, many of us seem to be in constant fear of missing out, whether it’s on the latest news, gossip, or updates from our friends.
Settling somewhere for more than a few minutes? It probably won’t be long until you’re searching for the nearest Wi-Fi hotspot. And there’s certainly no need to worry because, by next year, it’s estimated that there will be one hotspot for every 20 people on Earth.
Most restaurants, coffee shops and hotels have them as standard, but you can actually find internet connection in some rather unexpected places. Here are five of the weirdest places you can connect your device to Wi-Fi.
Canada’s National Parks
Canada has several breath-taking national parks within its borders. Back in 2014, Parks Canada announced a plan to launch Wi-Fi hotspots at various points around a number of these parks – an announcement that caused outrage from many.
Today, you can access Wi-Fi in numerous camping grounds and visitor centres in the parks and at other historic Canadian sites, but not in the wilderness or backcountry; those remain disconnected, for anyone looking to enjoy the nature and escape their everyday life.
Climbing the world’s tallest mountain is certainly something most people would want to boast about on social media. Well, thanks to Ncell, you don’t even have to wait until you’re back home to post your updates.
In 2010, the Nepalese telecoms company provided Everest with 3G data connection and hotspots along the climb. Three years later, Huawei and China Mobile added 4G to the mountain’s base camp, and adventurers can now Facetime their friends and family before setting back out to conquer the southeast ridge.
Photo: Sanyam Bahga
You may not have heard of Sarahan. It’s a small village in the middle of a desert in Himachal Pradesh, India, and until 2005 it didn’t even have access to electricity, let alone internet connection.
That year must have been a real turning point for locals (some 2,000 people), because they also became Wi-Fi enabled after a 20 metre Wi-Fi tower was installed. The internet connection was introduced as a part of the IIT Kanpur’s Digital Gangetic Plain Project.
The Masaya Volcano
Just last year, experts descended into ‘The Mouth of Hell’ – the Masaya Volcano – to install Wi-Fi sensors inside one of Nicaragua’s most active peaks. The plan was an elaborate one, involving the construction of a zipline that would allow those taking part to descend some 1,400 feet into the volcano.
Unsurprisingly, this wasn’t an attempt to attract more tourists to the area. Instead, it was done to help volcanologists gather important information, enabling them to carry out data analysis and better predict when the volcano is going to erupt.
The International Space Station
This habitable, artificial satellite that orbits around Earth is provided with a Wi-Fi network by Ku-band, the same satellite communications system that allows passengers on an aeroplane to access the internet in the air.
Although astronauts at the ISS have been able to connect to Wi-Fi since 2010, the connection isn’t anywhere near as fast as what we get down on the ground. In 2015, Scott Kelly tweeted: ‘We have a slow internet connection. Worse than what dial-up was like,’ while in space on a year-long mission that turned out to be his last before his retirement.
With the ability to access internet from almost anywhere in the world (and beyond!), there’s nothing stopping you from pursuing your education with Arden University. We offer a range of distance learning programmes, meaning you can study wherever and whenever it suits you.
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