Open letter to hotels and airports: make wireless internet free

IMPORTANT NOTE:

After the article below was published in the Jordan Times last Thursday, I was contacted by Wanadoo, the ISP responsible for the wireless service in the airport, telling me I got it wrong. Wanadoo say that the wireless internet service in the airport is still free and accessible to all. Eventually, it will become a paid service, but Wanadoo says it intends to price it lower than any airport in the region.

I need your help here. Any report or comment regarding wireless internet access at the airport or other public spaces in Jordan would be appreciated. Drop me a line at ahmad.humeid(at)gmail.com or simply leave a comment on 360east. Note that all comments on this site are moderated (mainly because of blog spam).

Ahmad

INTERNET | A 30% extra charege for a hotel room with internet is just outrages, thinks Ahmad Humeid.

Dear hotel and airport managers,

I am writing this letter to you, sitting in a really nice hotel room in Aqaba. In front of me is the charge list for wireless internet access in the hotel: 1 day for 21 JDs, 1 hour for 6 JDs and half an hour for 4 JDs! Am I going to use this service? No. It is simply overpriced. Extremely so. I have my mobile with me and I can connect using GPRS and send this article to the Jordan Times. I’d rather keep the 21, 6 or 4 JDs and buy cashew nuts for the amount!

Recently, a reader conveyed to me the disappointing news that the wireless internet access in Queen Alia International Airport is no longer free (now that the trial period of that service is over). Worse, it is only available to Royal Jordanian Crown Class travellers (as the reader was told by the information desk). The logic of such a service offering is totally beyond me.

Is it logical that I am expected to pay almost 30% extra for a hotel room with wireless access? Is it logical that if I am a customer of an airline other than RJ I get no wireless at Jordan’s main airport?

There is a funny expression used by fruit and vegetable sellers in Jordan: ‘Wijh El-Sahhara’, which means the ‘upper face of the basket’, which describes the practice of putting the nicest fruits on the uppermost layer of the fruit basket to entice (or cheat) customers.

Now I am not a ‘Wijh El-Sahhara’ advocate. But if five star hotels and airports, which usually act as a showcase for a country have not yet grasped that internet access should be more ‘accessible’ then God help us. Let me forget about advocating the idea of making the whole of Amman WiFi enabled!

For many business travellers, internet access has become as important as hot water in a hotel room. Dear hotel manager: can you imagine how much your customers will like you if you give them free wireless. Dear airport authorities: don’t you want to show that Jordan is serious about IT? Don’t you think that free wireless at the airport would be a good promotional tool for the airport and for Jordan.

Have hotels examined how much money they actually make from WiFi charges. Is it really worth it?

Look at your colleagues in Dubai, just for example. I am told that almost every 5 star hotel there now offers free wireless internet. Let’s learn from that!


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4 Responses to “Open letter to hotels and airports: make wireless internet free”

  1. Andrew Popplewell Says:

    Free wireless internet is a bit of a misnomer, in the UK, there has been a boom in wireless hotspots charging around 6 pounds per hour (aroundabout 7.5 JD’s). Very very few places offer it for free.

    On Queen Alia, last time I went out by AMM (end of May), no signal was present at all.

    On places in Amman, Tche Tche in Abdoun have free Wi Fi.
    Starbucks is free for the moment until end of June, its not worth the money after that. Get prepared for the pre paid digital revolution.

    I don’t mind paying a little bit more for the coffee/food/drink to subsidise the wi fi.

  2. wes Says:

    sheraton sucks donkey and charges 17jd a day.

  3. James Caffrey in Costa Del Sol Spain Says:

    I find unsecured wifi in British towns all the time quite easily. Is it legal to use it without peoples permission?? All I do is switch on my lapton and its their.

  4. immureaub Says:

    Hi all!

    As a fresh 360east.com user i just wanted to say hi to everyone else who uses this bbs 8-)

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