Hotel Wi-Fi may not be free much longer

Hotel Internet Wi-Fi: They May Not Be Offering Free Internet Much Longer

Free Wi-Fi Internet may not be available in some hotels much longer. You can still get it at Starbucks, McDonald’s, or at most airports, but, as you settle in at the hotel, you might find them charging you for it.

As previously reported by The Inquisitr, some airlines have been charging for Internet access during flights as well.

According to the latest survey from PKF Hospitality Research, US hotels made over $250 in telecommunications profits in 2011. Precious few of those dollars were likely earned from people using their guest room phone, thanks to mobile technology.

According to NBC News, Robert Mandelbaum, the PKF’s director of research information services, said:

“We believe it is an increase in the monies collected from Internet connections that is driving the growth in telecommunications revenue.”

Some of the increase is expected as the economy rebounds and people start traveling again. Many hotels are further raising their bottom line by charging for their Wi-Fi Internet. As previously reported by The Inquisitr, some airports have been renting out beds as well for overnight flights.

Consultant Ted Mandigo of TR Mandigo & Co said:

“There’s a lot of institutional ownership of properties and they’re very aggressive about the return on their investment. They’ve watched the airlines nickel and dime people for features and extra services and the hotel industry has adopted that as an approach.”

Hotels putting Internet access in their room rate are still offering Wi-Fi for free but have adopted the option of paying extra for higher speeds. It could means the difference between spending five minutes waiting for your favorite YouTube videos to load and watching them as soon as the page loads.

According to the USA Today, Dave Garrison, CEO of iBahn, one of the world’s top hotel Internet providers says:

“The iPad revolution has changed mobile devices from being text- and voice-oriented to being about pictures, graphics and movies, whether FaceTime, YouTube or social networks.”

Do you think major hotels are pushing it too far eliminating free Internet access? How much longer will other hotels keep it free?