Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Why no free WiFi at airports?

And now for something completely different, from robhyndman.com: Logan Seizes Control Over Airport WiFi:

From the Boston Globe:
Logan International Airport officials’ ongoing quest to ban airline lounges from offering passengers free WiFi Internet services is angering a growing array of powerful Capitol Hill lobbying groups, who say Logan could set a dangerous nationwide precedent for squelching wireless services....
If Logan wants to offer a paid service, it should find a way to make it a worthwhile investment for its customers, rather than seizing the market by shutting down the competition. Suggestion - the article suggests that airport WiFi is generally 802.11b. Why not offer 802.11g for the $8, and upgrade to MIMO as soon as standards converge? Why not set up a consortium with other national airports to offer a one logon service for frequent travellers? [Emphasis added--JGM.] All of these service improvements, of course, would be unlikely to come from a provider who could simply take the market without competing for the customers.

Last point - this is as good an example as one could ask for as to why it’s so important to keep government and near-government out of the business of providing innovative services. [I'm not sure that follows--JGM.] [But this makes sense:] It is simply unforgivable at this point that all major airports are not completely saturated with connectivity.

No comments: