A colleague of mine and a person who I have known for a while and a prolific blogger brings up some very good points about free wifi. I was just on a very long stint of travel that took me from Oahu to Omaha and it was the same thing in every hotel or place I stayed, "Do you have Wifi?" It was one of the first questions out of my mouth. I made sure I was connected which is what more and more business people are doing and relying on these days. I was impressed by the folks in Boston as they decided that they would go ahead and offer free Internet access in there facilities as I reported in my Friday Feature. They obviously see the business benefit and actually if I had an event in the area it would sway me to use their conference center.
I specifically look for hotels that offer free in-room Internet when I make travel arrangements. Unfortunately, there are times like last week when I stayed at the Ramada in JFK (yes that link is broken and says "service unavailable" still – epic fail) that I made the reservations based on free wifi and when I tried to use the service it was broken. Talk about anger over not being connected. I was just trying to answer some email! Take note, we are seeing now the emergence of "tethering" of iPhones and other mobile devices making Internet even more accessible. Hotels, conference centers, meeting facilities can take a page from the book and offer it for free as a value-add. It will pay you back ten fold from those that link to you and that talk about you online.
Photo via Repair-PC