With internet usage exploding everywhere, people are finding the speeds getting faster and the cost getting lower – in most circumstances (the exception is where internet implementation is outside of the mainstream, like GoGo In-Flight internet). With this happening, we become more accustomed to having access to fast internet when we go to most places, whether it be a hotel, different country, or in the air. Thankfully, GoGo is working to push the envelope when it comes to higher speeds, so that is one thing to look forward to!
The bad part is that some hotels have stopped giving complimentary internet and others that do offer the complimentary internet may not offer it a high speed. Even at some hotels where I receive the internet as a benefit for my elite status, I sometimes find the internet to be much slower than I am used to and, in some cases, pretty much unusable for all but the most simple of tasks. Many hotels counter this by offering “premium” internet at a fee. Some hotels will even offer a tiered premium selection – something like 2Mbps for one price and then 10Mbps for a higher price.
I have to say, while it is nice to have basic internet and get some tasks done like messaging or e-mails, it can be very annoying to find complimentary internet offered and then find that the speed is too slow to allow much work to be done on it. I am not talking about streaming anything but the simple browsing, downloading, and uploading that we find ourselves doing on a daily basis. In the day and age where internet is already so much faster than it was before, web content is now larger (in file size) than it was in the days of dial-up. This is nice as it makes the online experience more enjoyable but from a creation standpoint (like working on the blog), it can make it difficult to try and work with slow internet. There are many times I am working on a post that has me doing a lot of research and then some photo uploads. These uploads are normally very fast but uploading on a “complimentary” internet system is where the slow speeds are especially noticeable. I have been at hotels on their complimentary internet and it will take me 5 minutes to upload a single photo! This reduces my work efficiency severely.
On Again, Off Again
Then, of course, you have the complimentary internet that keeps dropping out. That is exceptionally annoying! I will be right in the middle of inputting things into a webpage and, when I press submit, it just brings me to a blank screen because I have to keep logging on or shutting off/turning on my internet because of bad connections. There is not a lot that we can do, though, because it is offered as complimentary internet. If we paid, then we have something to say about it. Otherwise, you may just get a shrug of the shoulders and a sorry.
On airplanes, complimentary internet is not a widely available thing but is definitely a nice surprise when you have it. On our recent Turkish Airlines flight, we had internet and it was nice to keep in touch with people on the ground. The bad part was when I tried to get some blog work done. It was totally unusable for that as it would take several minutes just to get a page to load. The one positive about that was that I did not have to feel bad about not doing work the whole time. 🙂
So, what are your expectations from a complimentary internet offering? Do your experiences mirror mine? I personally find it something to be viewed negatively if a hotel is offering free internet and then the system is not working right. For some, the free internet part may have been why someone chose that particular hotel. To go there and then find it unusable is pretty poor advertising, I think. What do you think? In hotels that offer a premium internet package, do you find yourself paying for it over using the complimentary internet?