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Bryan M. Wolfe
| October 25, 2011
Hotel Wi-Fi Speeds Are Getting Slower Thanks To The iPad
The iPad is so popular, it could soon cost each of us more whenever we check into a hotel. This is the conclusion of a report recently published by The New York Times. Free and fast Wi-Fi has long been a selling point for many hotels, especially for those that cater to business travelers. However, since the emergence of the iPad in 2010, things have changed considerably and not in a good way. Hotels, who only a few years ago put in “high speed” Internet are now faced with disgruntled customers complaining that connection speeds are suddenly too slow. The reason is that hotels never anticipated the arrival of the iPad, whose owners typically use much more bandwidth than those without Apple’s tablet. According to David W. Garrison, the chief executive of iBAHN, a provider of systems for the hotel and meetings industries:
“The iPad is the fastest-selling device in consumer electronics history, and because of it the demand placed on any public place Wi-Fi system has gone up exponentially in the last year and a half.”While the solution here is naturally for hotels to upgrade their Wi-Fi offerings to take into account increasing bandwidth needs, this won’t come without higher costs being passed onto customers.
For travelers, it may mean still another fee, since hotels will be paying their own Internet bills. Some hotel Internet service providers are proposing a solution that offers tiered Wi-Fi service. The lowest level, suitable for basic Internet requirements like checking e-mail, would be free, but other levels would be priced depending on bandwidth requirements. According to iBAHN, iPads consume four times more Wi-Fi data per month than the average smartphone.As Garrison contends:
The iPad represents the “final nail in the coffin” for the idea that all Internet is free, Mr. Garrison said.One idea being kicked around is to offer “tiered” Internet solutions for travelers.
The lowest level, suitable for basic Internet requirements like checking e-mail, would be free, but other levels would be priced depending on bandwidth requirements. According to iBAHN, iPads consume four times more Wi-Fi data per month than the average smartphone.We'll keep you updated.