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I’m Not Paying For Hotel Internet At These Speeds

by Sean P. Aune | September 28, 2010September 28, 2010 12:00 pm PST

Remember how some hotels are testing out the idea of paying for Internet connectivity, and the rates will be based on what speed you want?  Well, not in a million years would I pay for the speeds I’ve just experienced.

Last week we ran an article about how some hotels are testing out the idea of going to tiered pricing for Wi-Fi.  While I found the idea pretty repugnant to begin with, I happened to run that article while I was on vacation.  During my trip I stayed at two different hotels, and the screenshot below is the speeds I “enjoyed” at both hotels.


To be fair, the St. Louis airport speed did increase slightly as the night wore on, but it never got above a .30 Mb/s download speed.  At that particular hotel I was on a wired connection, while in Philadelphia I was on Wi-Fi.  The Residence Inn’s upload speed also hit as high as 1.6 Mb/s upload at one point, but .34 download was the best I ever saw.

While the Marriott chain of hotels is not the one testing the concept of tiered pricing, and I did get free access in both these instances, the concept anyone would pay for speeds this insanely slow is just beyond me.  Even rudimentary activities like loading Gmail was a pain at times.  Trying to watch a YouTube video, or even load an image heavy post was just not a fun thing to do.  Sure I had access, but for once I longed for my horrible service at home because even it is far superior to this.

Of course the Internet in both these instances is “free” only in the sense that I don’t pay a direct fee for it, but it is hidden in the price of the room.  If they came to me and asked me to pay for this directly, I think I would scream bloody murder at them.

The hotel industry is going to have to raise its game, because it isn’t just going to be free Internet that lures people in, but eventually it will be who offers the most speed.

What say you?  Would you have “paid” for Internet in either of these instances?

Sean P. Aune

Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...