WiFi Successful when Free


I saw this at boing boing this evening:

Operating a WiFi hotspot that you charge money for costs $30 a day. Operating a free WiFi hotspot costs $6. Clearing $6/day in new profit from offering free WiFi is easy, clearing $30 a day in most locations is damned hard. Will more cafes do the math?

Here\'s the irony in Wi-Fi public access pricing: retailers can be profitable by offering free Wi-Fi as a customer acquisition tool. But when they charge for Wi-Fi access, these retailers, and the WISPs serving them, almost certainly lose money. According to a market study coming out this summer, retailers are quickly learning this lesson: up to 30% of US location owners who plan to deploy commercial hotspots in 2004 intend those hotspots to be free or free-with-purchase. Here\'s the full link

All \"h-e-double-hockey-sticks\" came my way with the last story about WiFi I posted, so let\'s have it again! This story is another indication (through my pro-WiFi tinted specs) that libraries should be implementing WiFi for patrons and no charge should be associated with patrons using it.

The commercial world will eventually push people to expect this service, and libraries shouldn\'t be left behind. Now lemme have it.