Back to the World Electronic Media Forum today, but first a note on connectivity.
This the World Summit on the Information Society, so you might expect that connectivity would be taken care of. The reality is that getting online in Geneva is more difficult than I found it to be in Santiago, Chile. WiFi coverage at the Palexpo conference centre is provided by Swisscom. To get online you must enter a login and password from a prepaid card, and it is hard to find places to buy them. Swisscom kindly supplied one two hour card to each conference attendee, but the two hours runs from the time you first logon, thus limiting its value. And the service is also quite slow. Swisscom does have one cool twist, allowing you to text 'WLAN' from your phone to find out the nearest five WiFi points.
GPRS coverage is patchy in Geneva. Orange has an operation here but its GPRS service doesn't seem to cover the centre of the city. That said, when they work GPRS and WiFi are a great advance on connecting to Compuserve via a hotel phone line at great expense, and having to find the access number in advance of the trip.
The media centre at the Summit is very well appointed (there are about 900 media types here) and have lots of Internet-connected PCs and IP-enabled Ethernet cables available. However the setup uses proxy servers for access, and the ports for POP and SMTP email have not been enabled on the proxy server. Thus the only email access most journos have is Web-based. I discovered today that there are seven connections that circumvent the proxy -- but the word is out.
Clearly we need to get connectivity sorted here in the North, as well as in the South.