Hotels Testing Two-Tier Wi-Fi - Pay Less for Slow, More for Fast

For those who get irked paying for Wi-Fi in hotels, some properties are experimenting with a two-tier system that would at least reduce charges for some.

Sixteen luxury Four Seasons properties are already offering travelers who don't need much bandwidth the option of paying for basic Wi-Fi, rather than being charged for a faster connection.

And USA Today reports InterContinental properties in New York, San Francisco and Chicago are testing a similar concept.

Guests can pay $10 for enough bandwidth to check e-mail and Facebook, or $15 for a faster connection.

"Not everyone needs (high-bandwidth Internet), and I'd rather offer a lower price for day-to-day use," says Drew Schlesinger, general manager of the Times Square property.

InterContinental says about 30 percent of users in the pilot hotels are opting for the higher bandwidth.

One hotel technology analyst, Jon Ing, says the two-tier system may actually be the beginning of the end for Wi-Fi fees at hotels. He predicts it's only a matter of time before basic service is offered free for everyone.

Travelers recently ranked Wi-Fi fees as the charge they most resent in a poll by, with three in four travelers saying Wi-Fi access at hotels should be free.

Photo, czarcats, flickr
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