Is Hotel WiFi About to Start Sucking?

I like to see myself as the glass is half-full kind of person but I really try to be realistic so yes, sometimes it is one-half empty. And the two sides are tearing at each other as the news breaks regarding hotel Wifi. You see there is huge news as Accor Hotels which has in its portfolio the Sofitel, Novitel, Ibis and Mercure brands has decided to make all its WiFi at its hotels free.

This is a major hotel chain and global at that – some of the company’s hotels in fact play in markets where the charges are as high as £8.50 (13 dollars) an hour!

No doubt this move will be followed by other chains who will fear losing customers.

The glass half empty person in me loves the news as it allows you to connect all your devices and stream music and video to your heart’s content without parting with any of your dear Andrew Jacksons. But the realist knows that when there is free WiFi or the price is included, the performance of the network generally deteriorates dramatically making it difficult to stream music, let alone video.

OK – there is some great news here which we have to look at positively and that is that according to Meetings Focus:

The French company made the move after seeing a survey which revealed that the availability of free Wi-Fi is a critical factor when travelers decide which hotel to book.

Conducted by the London-based Telegraph Travel, the survey showed that two-thirds of hotels around the world still charge guests for Wi-Fi access.

A subsequent poll by the publication showed that many travelers see the Wi-Fi charges as “profiteering” by the hotels.

Accor’s decision follows another survey by the hotel booking website, which suggested that 38 per cent of travelers simply won’t book a hotel unless Wi-Fi access is free of charge.

You see, big companies care what consumers say and as the performance of these networks begins to bog down let’s hope they continue to listen and boost the bandwidth accordingly.

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