Despite what most consumers expected—which is free and safe Wi-Fi at restaurants, hotels and airports—some businesses weren’t ready to abandon Wi-Fi connectivity revenue streams. Someone has to pay for those access points and broadband Internet services, business owners reasoned.
According to a January 2009 survey of 2,700 Wi-Fi users, nearly 80 percent said that Wi-Fi should be free. As to what irritates them when they tried to connect to a Wi-Fi hotspot: 50 percent said “complicated login screens,” and 35 percent reported “complex payment procedures.”
In light of Barnes & Noble’s announcement, Techdirt.com pronounced “The Death of Paid Wi-Fi.” Clearly, that’s the direction most businesses are heading, but reports of Wi-Fi being universally free are, at this point, a bit premature.
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