Free WiFi Remains An Expensive Error

Free WiFi Remains An Expensive Error

free_wi_fi_spotTwice in the past week, I've learned that you get what you pay for in the broadband market. Over and over again during my travels, I sign onto "free" WiFi services. And most times I wind up terribly disappointed. Here's why.

Many readers have read my rants about JetBlue's hit-and-miss free WiFi service in the airline's JFK International terminal. Alas, the problems don't end there.

Over the weekend, I was left without WiFi and broadband for more than 24 hours during the Kaspersky Lab, Americas Partner Conference in the Dominican Republic. Actually, the WiFi worked. But the free service, offered by the host resort, lost its connection to the broader Internet. It was a painful 24 hours in paradise. No joke. Roughly 12 to 14 hours of productivity were gone.

Fast forward to the present. I'm in a hotel near Albany, N.Y. The free WiFi service is abysmal. The hotel kindly gave me an Ethernet cable to plug into the hotel network. Finally, I've got broadband that performs reasonably well.

For the most part, free WiFi has wound up costing me endless hours in lost productivity. Generally speaking, I think free WiFi services inspire "just good enough" broadband that really isn't good enough. And nobody takes corrective action because frustrated customers aren't willing to complain about free services that miss the mark.

Sure, there are some examples of solid, free WiFi. My free Wifi experiences at Panera Bread have been mostly positive.

Still, I'm willing to pay a reasonable price for fast, wireless broadband. When it comes to getting work done over WiFi, free generally isn't worth the price.

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.