Actually, I stopped using hotel WiFi because of this, too. You end up getting speeds slower than a modem and sometimes you are paying $10-$15 a day for it.
However, with the cloud looming and people wanting to watch YouTube videos and doing live meetings like GotoMeeting, the average user’s need for better speeds is a necessity. The standard 802.11b wifi router in the office – 150 feet away from your room – just won’t cut it anymore.
Hotels like InterContinental are experimenting with Tiered WiFi. For $10 a day, you can get a speed to check your email and Facebook. However, for $15 a day, you get some better connection speeds. No word what the “Better” speed would be – I would hope it would be at least 2 down, 2 up.
Then again, with 3G and 4G connections getting better in the US, will hotels benefit from making a tiered connection?
When in Vegas last June, I rented a 4G connection. I didn’t use the hotel Wireless because the 4G had better speed and cost less. I could work in my room, in the convention hall, in the lobby or in another location alltogether.
I was even in the airport watching GNC’s live show while waiting for my flight.
Two things I can see using a tiered hotel plan. One is if you need even more speed than 4G – One machine can run on 4G while the other connects via wireless. The other reason is if your 3G or 4G is a limited plan and you don’t want to go over 2 GB.
For people like myself or Todd, we need a better connection just to keep up with our daily lives. Not everyone needs that – but for those of us who do, having the option will be great.
I was looking at maps of the U.S. Grid system on the NPR Web site. This got me thinking about how our whole Internet structure and all our gadgets are dependent on a utility that has been around for over 100 years and some of its structures are more then 50 years old. Many people are worried about the Internet being interrupted by cyber attacks, but the weakest point in my eyes is the electrical base that it depends on. I worked at a Midwest electric company for more then five years so I am aware of how easy it is to disrupt the electrical service to an area. Without electricity, the only connection you have to the Internet is through cell phones. Even those need to be charged at some point in time. Like the Internet itself the electric grid is so interconnected that trouble in one area of the country can effect service hundreds of miles away.
As our applications and connections are increasing in the cloud we are becoming even more dependent on our electric grid to communicate and to remain connected. The load on the electric system is expected to increase by 40% in the next few decades. At the same time the the electric grid is getting older and is more apt to breakdown. However electric companies have very little incentive to upgrade, first it cast money, second it requires in most cases permission from various public service commissions, and third the results may not show up for five to ten years. This leaves the electric company often with angry stockholders, who see their stock values go down and angry customers who see their electric rates go up. It is difficult to convince people that it is worth spending money on something that will not show results until many years in the down the road. Especially in a world where people expect instant gratification. I do not know the answers to these questions, but I do know that the problems has to be dealt with, because its only going to get worse, ignoring it will not make it go away.
According to Nielsen/NetRatings, as of this summer almost 40 million U.S. Internet users connect via broadband at home. That’s almost 13 percent of all Americans. This number is up 49 percent, compared to only a year ago. Commensurately, dial-up users have declined.
While broadband use has seen a recent surge, there are still twice as many narrowband users, providing a significant near-term market for local and national dial-up service providers, although the handwriting may be on the wall, because last year the ratio was 3:1 in favor of narrowband usage.
I love my broadband connection. I don’t want to think what life would be like without it. I love going to the beach on vacation, but I sure don’t look forward to the comparatively slower dial-up connection I have while I’m there. Teaching class through a dial-up connection isn’t just time consuming, it’s painful.
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