Project to turn homeless people into wi-fi hotspots defended by creator

The ‘Homeless hotspots’ project has drawn criticism, but firm behind it says it's pure altruism

An initiative to turn homeless people into wi-fi hotspots for a conference in the US has been defended by the marketing firm behind it, claiming it made no gain from the scheme

An initiative to turn homeless people into mobile wi-fi hotspots has been defended by its creator BBH Labs, following criticism some quarters.

In a scheme initially designed to provide better 4G wi-fi access for visitors of the US conference SXSW, homeless people will be given mi-fi devices and T-shirts indicating they are hotspots, and people can pay what they want for web access.

Apparently all the funds go directly to the homeless person.

Having drawn criticism for this ‘Homeless Hotspots’ project BBH Labs has defended its intentions.

“Obviously, there’s an insane amount of chatter about this, which although certainly villianizes us, in many ways is very good for the homeless people we’re trying to help: homelessness is actually a subject being discussed at SXSW and these people are no longer invisible.”

The firm is a marketing company, but it insists this is a purely altruistic initiative and it made no money out of it.

It added: “We are not selling anything. There is no brand involved. There is no commercial benefit whatsoever.”

The project seems to have now been axed.