Regular readers will know that we have been banging on about the importance of free WiFi in hotels for several months now.
Not only have we published various lists of free WiFi “good guys” in London – including segmented listings of cheap and mid-price hotels – but we’ve also supported other bloggers who are passionate about free WiFi.
Our ad-hoc research is showing that more hotels are boarding the free WiFi bandwagon. One of the arguments advanced in support of this is the fact that “you can’t fight the tide” – as our open letter to hoteliers highlights.
With the growth of internet-enabled devices and high-speed services, consumers fully expect to be connected 24/7 without the hassle of having to sort out payment – particularly if they’re already paying for a hotel room.
Now there is hard data to back up our argument: a recent survey of 27,000 adults commissioned by the BBC found that almost 4 in 5 see internet access as a “fundamental right” – on a par with basic infrastructure.
Nobody is saying that internet access should be free of charge – but surely this survey supports the argument that the cost of delivering it should be bundled in to the cost of the room, on a par with hot water and electricity.
The fact that this survey was done in 26 countries makes it even more credible – and shows that citizens worldwide are united in seeing internet access as a basic human right.
Given the global diversity of visitors to London, hoteliers who persist in charging for WiFi are running a huge risk of alienating their customers.