December 12, 2013

A Virtual Location Move with my ISP Switch

Follow-up to Locations provided for DSL visitors are much better but still flawed. from Rob McGonigle on Internet Search & SMEs

virtual location of by IP addressSearching for a local service with blocked drains Solihull I noted that I saw some Oxford company Ads and local listings.

I had just changed my Internet Service Provider from PlusNet to BT. For years my fixed IP address resolved to London. When I repeated the trace my virtual location had moved west up the M40 / A40 to Cowley, outside Oxford.

I have blogged before about how the fixed wire UK broadband services were catching up slowly in their ability to detect location information from a very poor base. Many may say this is a good thing in the light of Edward Snowden’s revelations and today’s announcement that the NSA used Google’s search preferences cookies to track people.

On the other hand it can be easier to search for local services when the search engine knows where you are. I saw a student using a bleeding-edge gaming PC turn to his android phone to search for ‘taxi’. It produced the best results.
So location-based search in the UK has moved to moblies. A restaurant search in a new city is the classic application as well as location-triggered vouchers and offers.

Its surprising that BT can’t resolve my IP address to the new box in a green in Whitley, Coventry, after rollout of their new fibre-based network!

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