Add free hotel Wi-Fi to the list of services Apple’s iPad is making a thing of the past. The bad thing about the iPad being the best-selling gadget on the planet is, paradoxically, that the iPad is the best selling gadget on the planet. Turns out, the iPad sucks up quadruple the amount of wireless bandwidth as a smartphone — and hotels want to start metering your usage.
Hotels, which started promoting free “high-speed” Internet access in the days when most guests had smartphones that sipped bandwidth are now scrambling in the face of the fire hose of data available to the huge number of iPad owners. The head of a company providing access to hotels describes Apple’s tablet as “the final nail in the coffin” for free Internet, the New York Times reports Tuesday.
So, hotels appear to be headed the way of wireless carriers and ISPs forced to deal with consumers demanding access to more and more data. People wanting to watch Netflix or play real-time online games should pay a premium. Such tiered access will allow the idea of free Internet to survive – but only for light uses, such as checking your email.
Would you pay more to ensure you get preferential treatment the next time you and your iPad check in at a hotel?