from the it's-over,-done-with,-kaput dept
It's been almost exactly six years since I got into a bit of a debate about whether or not there was a real business model for fee-based WiFi. Not surprisingly, I didn't think it would last, even as there were a bunch of startups (some well-funded) trying to stake out a claim that they could build huge networks of paid WiFi access points. Those businesses never got very far. While there are still some fee-based WiFi access points around (mainly in airports), more and more are becoming totally free. Starbucks (which had been a holdout) has gone conditionally free, and last week Barnes & Noble WiFi went totally free. So can we now close the book on the idea that fee-based WiFi was ever a good business model?