Reading Rick’s rant about phone companies reminds me of the situation I’m having providing wireless internet access at OzFox. The venue want to charge $25 for a 2 hour wireless card or $44 for a 12 hour card per attendee. Hello! This is a developer conference. You know, geeks with notebooks who like to check the web from time to time. Hi, welcome to the conference, now bend over… Who actually forks out the bucks and pays this kind of thing?
Or how about if you want to connect to the net in your hotel room. Try 55c a minute. Yep. But don’t despair – they generously cap this at $29 a day. What a joke. Why are we so far behind the rest of the world? Surely the internet is common place now, even in this little country at the bottom of the world. No wonder Bill Gates sniggered few years back and gave us a pounding about our dinosour attitude to the net.
Here’s what I want. Every hotel or business of reasonable size should just provide wireless internet access at fair prices. I’m thinking $1 an hour is reasonable, capped at $5 a day. At these rates you’d pay approx $150 if you stayed for a whole month. That’s atleast twice as much as most of the main broadband plans on the market, so the hotel would easily cover its costs. Even Telstra can’t charge that much for personal plans (ok, I’m not talking about business plans here). And don’t tell me wireless should cost more – it so bloody easy to set up a wireless hub.
How about this for an idea. Maybe I should head down around the venue and see how many wireless access points are freely available (you know, all those people who don’t even put a key on their hubs). Perhaps I can just jack into some poor bloke’s hub and provide it for free. Yes, ofcourse I’m joking.
Or if you want to really get my support then provide the wireless internet access free to hotel guests and conference attendees. I’d be promoting you all over the place. You’d soon have people lining up to do business with you.
But I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. Hotels have been doing this kind of thing for years. Ever made a long distance phone call from your hotel room? Yep, you an easily be charged more on a 30 minute phone call than your daily room rate. It is a disgrace.