Insanely Expensive WiFi

from the taking-the-captive-audience-argument-a-bit-too-far... dept

If you think that any fee for WiFi is too high, then wait until you hear about the plan from Sweet Spot Solutions and Pronto Networks to WiFi up downtown Tempe, Arizona for this week’s Presidential debate. The two companies have set up a WiFi network that covers about 2 miles, but you need to buy a special “USB key” from Sweet Spot solutions in order to access the WiFi. Here’s where it gets ridiculous. A one day pass will run you $49.95, though you get a real discount if you sign up for the weeklong deal at $199.95. Yeah, $50 a day or $200 for the week. And you thought paying $7 for a WiFi daypass was expensive? Of course, it’s not too hard to find plenty of other WiFi providers, including a good number of free ones. Someone should explain to the folks at Sweet Spot and Pronto the concept of price elasticity — especially in the face of cheap or free competition.

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Comments on “Insanely Expensive WiFi”

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Rob Henderson says:

What exactly are they selling?

It occurrs to me that the local Starbucks free WiFi might not be able to handle the usage needs of the national press corps covering a pivotal political event. If what these people are selling is a guaranteed high-bandwidth, high-availability connection that blankets the debate coverage zone, and if they are primarily marketing it to professional (or very dedicated amateur) types, it might not be a bad idea.
On the other hand, this service may be no more reliable than any of the free services. In that case, it’s just a great example of capitalism in action. There’s a sucker born every minute, and there will always be someone waiting to take advantage of him.

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