I've written before about difficulties I've had in the past couple of years with traveling and trying to find hotels that offer high speed internet access (preferably wireless). I always tell hotels that it's a huge factor in my decision making process, and it sounds like others are saying the same thing. Hotels are finally starting to come through. However, even if they offer access it's not always so easy to get it to work. My parents were recently visiting, and stayed at a hotel that advertised "free" internet access, but when my father tried to plug in his laptop it didn't work. The front desk told him (incorrectly, of course) that it was because his laptop had a WiFi wireless card that was "blocking" the ethernet cable from working. We eventually figured out the problem (bad cable) and everything was fine. However, the story is certainly not unique. Many travelers say that each hotel has a different system with different requirements - sometimes involving special hardware or software. There's also all sorts of different pricing policies (something that's carried over from the WiFi hotspot world), which are both confusing and annoying to many potential users. Interestingly, the article suggests that many hotels are going to feel compelled to offer high speed internet access as a "free" utility within a year or so, as other hotels do the same. Since hotels were considered "captive audience" locations, many in the wireless hotspot industry had been saying that it was one location that could make money off of hotspots. Maybe not.
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