Free vs. paid wi-fi

Computerworld: “The basic problem is that airports [and other public facilities] see wireless as a potential revenue stream, whereas Continental makes its revenue on plane fares and sees wireless as a way to keep their customers happy.”

Why can’t the airport see it as a way to make customers happy? After all, we travelers pay significant amounts of money to use the airports, and a little service, especially when it is so cheap to provide, wouldn’t be unreasonable. Is it a wise business decision? Is there enough competition in the market for there to be a real choice of airport, so this could be a deciding factor?

It’s also more than just the money, it’s the hassle, too. I think at least a quarter of the times I’ve had problems with the payment, from software bugs, servers being down, to terms not being clear. That’s gotta cost the provider money, too. Why not just make it free and be done with it? (Via Dave Winer)

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