At Austin's popular SXSW technology conference, a marketing firm called BBH has implemented a campaign called "Homeless Hotspots."
The homeless men in the program mill about the conference center wearing t-shirts emblazoned with "I'm [their name], a 4G hotspot," while carrying a wireless internet router. Conference goers can pay for internet access from these Homeless Hotspots via PayPal.
BBH partnered with an Austin homeless advocacy group called Front Steps for the project; the organization put the ad agency in touch with participants. (Update: The group responds.) Radia said the Hotspots, who will likely be getting a lot of attention Tuesday, enjoy it so far. "One of the guys used the phrase, ‘my small business' today."