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WiFi is too expensive when it's not free

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birdherderPerson was signed in when posted
12:23 PM ET (US)
I'm what some might consider a "sucker" since I've been using T-mobile since Austin was just a test market. I can afford [not really] to subscribe [as a subscriber to the phone service all you can eat hotspot access is $20/mth]. To me knowing in almost all of the Starbucks in town I can pop in and do some work. Sure there are mom & pop cafes in town where there is free access but they aren't always convenient to where I am.

Charging for WiFi can work but the cost model -- like long distance and cell phone models of old -- won't work. Would all you can eat access for $9.99/mth sell more than $39.99/mth? Damn skippy. Will the extra volume make up for the loss of revenue/unit? Maybe.

Eventually wireless internet access will be fast and available everywhere like cell phone coverage is today. And we pay for cellphones. Remember how expensive that used to be? And remember only "rich" people had cell phones?
cypherpunksPerson was signed in when posted
11:22 AM ET (US)
Imagine if establishments that have a TV on (pizza places, chinese resturants, bars, waiting rooms, hostpitals, airports, train stations, etc) tried to charge customers who watched the TV to pay for the cost of the TV and cable. This is what pay-for-WiFi is trying to do.

It is better to just give it away, and eat the cost as part of your "advertising". This is true of almost any service where the cost of billing is far greater than the cost of service. For instance, airports don't charge me for the electric I use when I plug my laptop into a wall socket. Resturants don't charge me for a glass of water with my meal.

And if you already have the data lines installed for your business use, why not spring for the $50 to offer WiFi to your customers? Now by all means, firewall off your corporate machines from the data network you offer the public. But don't try and charge them for it.

09:43 AM ET (US)
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