WiFi in hotels? Hot water not included!

Just a short blog this weekend. Well. If you actually count carefully, you will see that I am lagging behind in my new year's resolution to post one entry per week. One of my colleagues (Ron Tolido) keeps telling me to write shorter blogs anyway.

We live in a day and age where access to the internet is almost ubiquitous. Fair enough. This only applies to the so-called Western world. When disgracefully limiting our view to the Western part of the world, internet access is everywhere. The invisible infostructure is neigh. In whichever city you are, places like Starbucks provide you with free internet access.

But wait. What happens if you travel around? I've noticed that when I'm traveling around, the cheaper hotels quite often provide free or really cheap WiFi access, while the more expensive hotels tend not to. At the top end hotels you end up paying 15 to 20 Euro a day to get WiFi access. In the age of the invisible infostructure, I think this is almost like having to pay for hot water. "Do you want hot water in your room sir? That'll be an extra charge of 15 Euro per night." Rediculous! How many travellers carry a WiFi enabled device? Its not as if they would be offering this service to only a few. Everyone takes a hot shower. Everyone needs WiFi.

Let's boycot hotels without free WiFi, or at least start asking if hot water is included in the price ...

Looking at it from another perspective, I am actually amazed that I haven't come across Google (or Microsoft for that matter) sponsored WiFi access points yet. Imagine sitting at an airport or a railway station, and getting internet access for free, but before you login you will have to go theough a login page of the sponsor. Sure. It still sounds a bit like "Today's hot water was sponsored by ...", but still, if there is a need to earn an extra Euro from the use of what should be as common as hot water ...

Even more, companies like Google could link the knowledge of which access point you're using to their AddSense system. The Google adds you see on web-pages only have a topical relevance in relation to the content of the web-page you're looking at. What if they could add location-based relevance? The add could say "If you feel like coffee, there is a nice espresso bar just round the corner".


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