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Wireless Networking Communications The Internet Technology

HotelChatter's Annual Hotel Wi-Fi Report 2010 157

Ant writes with this excerpt from an annual review of wireless access for hotel guests: "This year marks HotelChatter's sixth annual hotel Wi-Fi report. Over the years we've documented the progression of hotel Wi-Fi, from blatant disregard, to price-gouging for Wi-Fi access, and reliable Wi-Fi for loyalty program members, through guests taking matters into their own hands with wireless laptop/notebook cards and 3G access. A year ago, we thought guest demand for free, reliable, hotel Wi-Fi might just go away, thanks to 3G, but today, a growing number of hotel guests not only demand the hotel they book have proper wireless access, but most will consider not staying at a hotel that can't meet their basic access needs. That's right, Wi-Fi is a make or break amenity for many hotel guests that can sway booking decisions — and that isn't going away."
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HotelChatter's Annual Hotel Wi-Fi Report 2010

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  • Price gouging (Score:3, Informative)

    by iamhassi ( 659463 ) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @05:38PM (#32037380) Journal
    Went to Disney this year. Not only did Buena Vista Suites charge $10 a day for wifi, the speeds were only 1 megabit down (~150 kBps) while my 3G iPhone offered a bit over 2 megabit.
  • The Chart (Score:5, Informative)

    by ojintoad ( 1310811 ) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @05:46PM (#32037502)

    This pretty graphic [] is a nice summation of the article and can be used as a cheat sheet.

    I have no documentation of this, but there's always been speculation in my company that the classier hotels don't give internet for free because either a) their clients will pay or b) the business that is paying for the room will pay. This is evidence of the observations but not the causation.

  • by nblender ( 741424 ) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @05:56PM (#32037640)

    The expensive hotels are going to get the corporate traveller whose expenses are paid by the employer and who, more than likely, is expecting to work in the room so the WIFI charge is simply another line item on the expense report... They're going to get that business regardless whether they have free wifi or not...

    The cheaper hotels are getting the cost conscious tourist, salesperson or tradesperson customer. They need to work hard to attract that customer from the other discount hotels and so charging for Wifi would be suicidal...

    At least that's my theory...

  • by BJ_Covert_Action ( 1499847 ) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @06:07PM (#32037764) Homepage Journal
    Hotels, in general, are for suckers in my opinion. If you're planning a trip, go to, make yourself a profile, meet some cool people while you travel, stay in the area for relatively cheap and/or free, and chances are, your host will be able to provide internet that you don't have to pay for. Of course, for business trips and the like, that kind of thing may not work out. However, I've often found that corporate overlords dictate hotel choices when flying for business anyways so its not like you get to make the choice based on internet or any other thing that you value.

    Also, hostels are awesome. We should open some more of those in the States.
  • Re:Hilton sucks. (Score:3, Informative)

    by Bill Dimm ( 463823 ) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @06:50PM (#32038230) Homepage

    Even worse than that, you pay $15/day for WiFi at the Hilton in NYC and then it doesn't work worth a damn. I was exhibiting at a trade show there and I tried to email a 300kB white paper to a few people I met, and it timed out many times before I got it to go through due to the poor network. I had problems both evenings, but not in the morning, so they probably just can't handle the peak traffic. I emailed them a complaint about it when I got home, and I didn't get any response whatsoever. Not even a "we're sorry."

  • by dubbreak ( 623656 ) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @06:57PM (#32038306)

    ps. Hyatt Regency Vancouver, I'm looking at you! (benefit of the doubt: that was a couple of years ago)

    I think last time I stayed there they were trying to charge $30/night for access. I was more disturbed by the low quality mattresses and pillows in a "premium" room. They were definitely not comparable to the nearby Hilton (which also charges too much for wireless..). Of course you are paying for the convenience of being directly at the airport. If you have a super early flight it's hard to beat being able to get up, get dressed then only have to take an elevator to get to the flight check in counter. No one else offers that convenience, so they are obviously taking advantage of it.

  • Re:roaming (Score:3, Informative)

    by Cimexus ( 1355033 ) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @09:17PM (#32039502)

    You're right. And to go one step further, the concept of 'domestic roaming' doesn't exist in most countries anyway. A LOT of business travel is still domestic, especially in large countries like the US, Australia etc. Therefore I don't think the "hotel guests don't want to use 3G cause it's expensive" argument holds that much water.

    I think the idea of 'domestic roaming' (for data or voice) is mostly a US thing where you have quite a few smallish/local operators. Every other country I've been to, phone providers normally cover the whole country. (Similarly the idea of 'long distance home phone service' as a service you purchase in addition to/separately from a local call service is also, AFAIK, an American thing ... elsewhere a phone company just connects you and that phone can call any number on the planet, although you may obviously still be charged differently depending on the distance of the call.).

    International data roaming OTOH is as you say a racket. And a danger to unwary travellers, especially if your device likes to do a lot of random 'background' tasks that just use a few bytes here and there, but the roaming provider has something like "100 kB minimum session charge". That can rack up to thousands of bucks very easily. Turn off your 3G data completely when travelling people!

  • Re:Price gouging (Score:3, Informative)

    by houstonbofh ( 602064 ) on Friday April 30, 2010 @01:57AM (#32041098)
    La Quinta is always free. Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express, are almost always free. Choice Hotels (Comfort Inn/Suites, Quality Inn/Suites, Econo Lodge) are almost always free.

    Pick your brand carefully.

... though his invention worked superbly -- his theory was a crock of sewage from beginning to end. -- Vernor Vinge, "The Peace War"