Homeless people as the new 4G wifi hubs!

An unconventional experiment which involved using homeless people as 4G mobile wi-fi hotspots has gather a lot of crowd at the SXSW happening at Austin, TX. The project is defined as a “Charitable Experiment“.

A lot of homeless men equipped with Verizon MiFi’s wearing specially printed t-shirts which say, for eg., “Hi, my name is Clarence, I am a 4G hotspot, SMS HH Clarence TO 25827 for access” with a URL of the Homeless Hotspots website. It suggested that public pay $2 for 15 minutes Wi-Fi access to the internet. Suddenly, a lots of sparks generated around the world as the news spread, some thought of it as an awesome idea, which may help the homeless people, while other called it downright demeaning.

Launched as a ‘beta test’ by advertising firm BBH Labs said “there’s an insane amount of chatter about this, which although certainly villainises us, in many ways is good for the homeless people we’re trying to help”, on their blog. The advertising firm, apparently says that it is trying to modernise the concept of street newspapers, which are created and sold by homeless people. Instead of selling a newspaper, the homeless person now sells Internet access as well as access to the newspaper’s content.

BBH Labs Director of Innovation Saneel Radia said, “It’s unfortunate how much information being shared is incorrect, this project is not selling a brand and there is no commercial benefit whatsoever to BBH Labs. Each of the Hotspot Managers keep all of the money they earn. The more they sell their own access, the more they as individuals make.”  What do you think?

via: BBC and DNNetworks

4 thoughts on “Homeless people as the new 4G wifi hubs!

  1. I think that BBH willing to work WITH the fact that these individuals are homeless is an innovative way to tackle the issue. I think that ultimately there will be a good that comes from this experiment for Clarence and others like him. And to touch on the point that this might be demeaning for a person to do… All I have to say is; that I’ve been put in more embarrassing situations for a paycheck before.

    1. I agree with you Jonathan! With the current uproar and the subsequent pulling down of these services earlier in the day, I still feel for a homeless fellow, this provides an honest opportunity to ‘earn’ a days living!

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