I am posting to solicit advice for a friend of mine. He is opening a new cafe, and is considering setting up some free wireless internet access for it. The wireless network is essential to the target audience of this cafe (teens). Obviously, as far as me & him are concerned, all he has to do is buy a DSL/cable line, a no-name wireless-G router, setup WPA, change the password everyday, ???, PROFIT.
Is there something else that we need to worry about? Are there some weird liability stuff to be concerned, like getting sued by RIAA if some customers decides to leech at the cafe? (Obviously, this won’t happen, because it’s in Canada.) Also, any software/hardware advice, too? Like I’m sure he’ll need to not connect any of his business computer to the same network.
He will need to set up a hotspot which can be done with multiple types of Access Points. Something that runs firmware that can be upgraded to open source equivalents (like DD-WRT) might help, since those usually include extra features that help with a hotspot setup. Otherwise, a simple google search on “How to set up a wifi hotspot” will get him the basics. Do not under any circumstance just do typical authentication. Otherwise folks could sit in the parking lot and play away and you would have no way to prevent that, nor sharing of the key.
As for liability, that’s not my forte, but he could find some examples of a terms of service document, which could be displayed as part of the click-through for the hotspot connection. Turnkey hotspot packages also include a billing and monitoring program to help him see how long people have been connected and perhaps charge by time instead of by day.
Thanks for the tip. He’s not planning to charge anyone; he just has no other techy friend, so he’s looking for help.