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WiFi access points should be rated

I’m in a hotel — the Radisson at Fisherman’s Wharf — in San Francisco at the moment. On the web, when I booked it, it said ‘complimentary WiFi’.

The internet is, indeed, complimentary. It’s a good signal too.

But it’s shit-slow. Ultra shit slow. 10k/second throughput. I get a better signal from my Vodafone USB mobile broadband modem, but I am trying not to use it because there’s a hefty bill, I’m sure, waiting for me.

I’m living in the now generation. That is, I don’t bother downloading any email. I have it all stored on Google Apps. It doesn’t matter what computer I use to access it.

I do need to have a fairly decent internet connection in order for Google Mail to be usable though. I’ve used Google Mail on a bluetooth GPRS connection before and it is slow but usable. On this WiFi connection it’s appalling.

I thought of phoning the ‘StayOnline’ (“high speed internet access”?) support line to complain. What’s the point though?

I’m getting to the point that with my business, I need to have ultra fast internet. Not hamster-speed.

Whaddya do? When you’re on the road? I can’t be arsing about with the hotel internet connection lottery.

In the Las Vegas Planet Hollywood hotel, where I stayed for CTIA, I was getting between 1 and 2 megabytes per second download speed.

Fooking annoying.

Just like the hotel’s star rating, it’s internet connection should be rated too.

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

6 replies on “WiFi access points should be rated”

Hotels need to start taking this more seriously and not just treat it as a marketable afterthought. I was in deepest rural France last year and desperately trying to sort one of those horrendously urgent problems that only happens to clients when you are on holiday. We opted for a quaint traditional hotel to have lunch while I was sat in the square using wi-fi from a nearby chain hotel (L’Orange, via my BT Opezone acc). When my family started waving furiously at me I thought something (else) had gone horribly wrong. Turns out the quaint hotel owner was desperate that I should come in (out of the rain, I might add) and use his newly installed FREE wi-fi, which he’d had tested all over the building! It was a lifesaver, I could eat my duck salad with one hand while migrating email accounts to a new server with the other. If the French (the FRENCH FFS!) can get this right, you’d think San Francisco had it taped years ago. Still, if the RAZR is still the height of ‘cell phone’ sophistication………..

Ewan,

I have been saying this exact thing for years in terms of GSM signal. I have actually been on phone calls with you and wanted to walk into a hardware store but couldn’t knowing I would lose the call. I think restaurants, stores, office buildings, etc. should all have ratings. I would love to see hotels.com or Zagat include a rating system in their reviews. I would not stay in a hotel if I knew my mobile wouldn’t work there. Would you?

Jeb

Hey Ewan – I’m on holiday round the corner from you at the Prescott Hotel in downtown San Francisco! Small world! Glad to say that the free wi-fi here is pretty good. You may have to take advantage of the wi fi in one of the cities 89 Starbucks, I think I saw a couple in Fishermans Wharf earlier today…

Hi Ewan

Maybe you should rate it using Total HotSpots, which provides recommendation of places with Wifi and the ability to rate the place?

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/total-hotspots-f

Currently FREE for your iPhone (was £2.99) it has over 250,000 hotspots worldwide (one of the biggest databases) ..not an 'official' rating such as the Hotel Star rating system, but lets face it, the official hotel star rating system is the biggest liar in the world 😉

Hi Ewan

Maybe you should rate it using Total HotSpots, which provides recommendation of places with Wifi and the ability to rate the place?

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/total-hotspots-f

Currently FREE for your iPhone (was £2.99) it has over 250,000 hotspots worldwide (one of the biggest databases) ..not an 'official' rating such as the Hotel Star rating system, but lets face it, the official hotel star rating system is the biggest liar in the world 😉

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