Xeni Jardin at 1:05 pm Wed, Apr 28, 2010
ADVERTISE AT BOING BOING!
I travel to Canada from the US. I have cell coverage for $20.00 a month. If I use my air card the charge is .002 cents per killabit. There is no charge to use the hotel internet.
The authors seem to be surprised that hotel guests want to use a hotel’s wifi instead of 3G networks. I’m a Canadian who makes frequent trips to the US. And wifi is often the deciding factor between hotels. As much as I’d love the option of using 3G in the US but it is economically not feasible. I know a couple who received a bill for over $40 just for using their iPhone to check into their flight. Wifi is the only way I’ll use a internet device south of the border.
I’m living in Thailand right now and just had a three-week holiday in Vietnam. Everywhere we stayed in ‘Nam, mostly low-budget hostels, had free wi-fi, usually with fantastic connection speeds. Then I returned to Thailand and stayed a night at the Novotel at bangkok airport (was paid for me, thanks to GF’s parents!). Apparently Novotel aren’t quite as rich as all those hostel owners in ‘Nam so they had to charge us an arm and a leg for access to the internet. Of course I refused to pay their charges and stayed offline for the day, just beggars belief how these guys can get away with it. Are they going to charge for running water next? :-)
Or, use Boingo Wireless: $10/mo, no contract required, unlimited Wi-Fi in North America, covers pretty much every airport, most hotels (but not all).
I just signed up for this while on a trip. Seems to be awesome. $9.95/month sure beat the $12.95/day that the Marriott wanted.
I think the hotel chains’ logic on charging vs. free is pretty simple: if you stay at an expensive high-end hotel, you’re either rich or on a fat expense account, so why not hit you for wifi fees? You’re probably also paying $15-20 for breakfast in these places, so it may not seem like a big deal to you.
If you’re on a budget or a less generous expense account, you’re going to shop around for as many free amenities as possible, so most of the low and mid-priced chains offer free wifi and free breakfasts.
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