Sometime while I was away this winter, IleSansFil, the Montreal free community wifi service, crippled all their hotspots, by disallowing any and all traffic without login. (Or so it seems, I've only tried at 4 or 5)
The ISF service requires web/browser based authentication before they let any traffic through from your *device* to --or from-- the network.
Previously, they allowed email to pass through without authentication. This is no longer the case. I have gotten no clear reason for this, or any clear indication of at what level this was done. I've heard wishywashy mealy-mouthed eyes averted mumblings about "precluding the sending of spam email".
For me personally, this renders the ISF service totally useless, as I relied on it to be able to do data transactions on my mobile device. Authenticating via a web browser in this context is a non-realistic and non-surmountable barrier to use.
Their argument might be "well our whole purpose for creating the ISF network was not to blanket the city in WiFi but rather to provide community web portals." That's all fine and dandy, and when I am sitting with my laptop, that's great, really. But ISF just silenced my mobile capacity to express myself and stay in touch with my FTIC. And it hurts. Badly. Especially with the extortionate cellular data rates in this country.
Isn't ISF's tagline "free | wireless | internet"?
In any case, I'd like a clear statement as to what happened and why. And who I can talk to figure out a better solution than treating every Montrealer as a criminal.