What are all those WiFi hotspots, anyway?

I am sitting here at George Bush International Airport in Houston having a cup of coffee and doing a little online work.  Flash (Samsung Q1 SSD) is happily working away while connected to the Portable Power Station so he’ll be fully charged for the flight where I intend to watch the movie Flightplan I downloaded from the iTunes Music Store.  I am connected through my phone, tethered via USB and the speed is pretty darn good.  Before I connected via EV-DO of course I tried to find an open WiFi hotspot and to my surprise there were five wireless networks and only one of them was secured.  You’d think that with four open wireless networks I’d have no trouble getting online, wouldn’t you?  Nope.  Of the four networks that were unsecured one was a pay network through Sprint and thus inaccessible to me.  The three remaining networks were all there with good signal strength but not a single one of them were actual gateways to the Internet.  What are all of these networks, anyway?  I am happy with my EV-DO connection but WiFi sure would be easier and faster too.  The airport is not the only place I’ve seen apparently good WiFi hotspots that in reality lead to nowhere.  Anybody have any theories as to what these might be?


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