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Wireless extortion in airports

Wireless extortion in airports

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Old Jun 19, 04, 9:10 am
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Wireless extortion in airports

I was in PHL last night and I saw that there was wireless in the area when I opened my laptop. I clicked to sign up and noticed it was AT&T. I went through all of the forms and then I noticed that the least costly option they gave was $9.99 for a full day. Other options were month passes, etc. I was only going to be in the airport for an hour. Damned if I'll sign up for a full day's rate for that. Whatever happened to hourly rates? AT&T can take their wireless. They could have had a customer.
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Old Jun 19, 04, 9:26 am
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From my perspective $9.99 for a day pass is not that bad. In terms of comparing for value for money, I would take the cost putting my bluetooth card into the laptop's PCMCIA port and accessing the internet over GPRS using my Ericsson T610 for a couple of hours. Assuming what I do is pretty intensive (not just annoying other members of the FT comunity) and I use a megabyte while roaming, this will come to approx (assuming I guess correct exchange rate) $17. Add to that I don't get broadband speeds over GPRS.

Of course, if I'm in my domestic market, I'll simply use some of the inclusive monthly megabytes that come with my cell phone. In this case, if there is a also wireless network then I have various trade offs to consider.

BTW, $9.99 for a day really is very good by world standards. I paid 9.99 euros for two hours access at Munich airport!
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Old Jun 19, 04, 9:31 am
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Originally Posted by Internaut
BTW, $9.99 for a day really is very good by world standards. I paid 9.99 euros for two hours access at Munich airport!
I guess what got me was the fact that I was only in the airport for an hour. "Extortion" is a strong word, but that is what it felt like. I had to go through the entire registration process before it told me what the rates were. It was pretty sad. I'd like to see wireless rates fall to cost, but I'm pretty sure airports will create local monopolies and keep the profit margin right up there with that of popcorn in movie theatres.
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Old Jun 19, 04, 6:15 pm
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I agree with the OP, $9.99 might not be bad for a day, but only in unlucky circumstances do I spend most of a day at an airport. When I have half an hour and just want to check my email before a flight, it is hard for me to justify. Some airport I was at recently (maybe Toledo), had a per minute or hour charge with a more reasonable $2.95 mininum. And there are a few freebees out there, I think PIT is one.
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Old Jun 20, 04, 1:42 am
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Get a wireless cellphone card

You can get pretty good internet over a Handspring Treo. Or, if you insist on having a laptop, I carry a cell phone PC Card which costs $40/month. The carrier (Sprint PCS) charges up the ... for extra bytes, so you have to use it sparingly -- but it seems there is enough free wireless out there so I don't have to use the cell phone card very much.
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Old Jun 20, 04, 2:25 am
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Old Jun 20, 04, 8:47 am
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In Canada, over a Mike cellphone it's possible to have free internet if you manage to get the computer to take "s=2" as the number to dial.

To make sure you don't get charged, make sure that you have some kind of flatrate wap package, including the demo one (available for free).

I never managed to get it working with Windows (as it just refuses s=2) but it works quite well with Linux.

Not fast, but free.
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Old Jun 20, 04, 10:19 am
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LAS is free, just used it last week
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Old Jun 20, 04, 5:17 pm
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Old Jun 20, 04, 6:08 pm
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ICT had free wireless and wired access when I was there last week. FAR also has free wireless (and maybe wired) access as well.
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Old Jun 20, 04, 6:09 pm
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Originally Posted by CVO 1K 2 Million
LAS is free, just used it last week
Is the whole LAS airport a free wireless zone?
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Old Jun 20, 04, 6:53 pm
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Originally Posted by mbstone
You can get pretty good internet over a Handspring Treo. Or, if you insist on having a laptop, I carry a cell phone PC Card which costs $40/month.
Or use something like this:
http://www.junefabrics.com/palmnet/index.php
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Old Jun 20, 04, 7:14 pm
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Old Jun 20, 04, 7:19 pm
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Old Jun 20, 04, 7:42 pm
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I was in DEN today and saw the banners. I opened up my notebook and and saw that it was AT&T, but I couldn't get connected at all.

I made sure I got an IP address, and it was trying to load its regiatration page, but it just wouldn't ever respond

As I was trying to get setup, I was thinking how much I was hoping it would be a simple day rate instead of some by the minute or by the hour thing. I would have thought the $9.99 pretty acceptable, particularly if it continued to work at the next airport.
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