What Fred Wilson says: More on the airport wifi debate.
“There’s the free and ubiquitious approach, which I favor, and then there’s the greedy bastards approach which apparently Boston’s Logan Airport favors. I have no issue with Logan’s interest in offering a paid wifi offering in its terminals, but if some smart visionary company wants to offer a free alternative, they should be allowed to do that. The market wants competition, not monoplies that offer crappy service and charge a fortune.”
I agree with Fred.
I’ll even go a step further. I believe in free wifi for airport spaces primarily funded by taxpayers and by mandated fees (taxes) of those who fly. (Later clarification: I’m not suggesting new taxes, I’m saying that airports are already funded that way.) I believe we’re moving into an era where “free wifi” in airports should be expected, even demanded by passengers. I don’t think airport authorities — especially those who compete with other airports for connecting passenger traffic — should try to squeeze another $8 from a passenger who chooses a flight that originates or connects from that airport. And then, when the authority wants to keep a competitor (a coffee shop or an airline) from offering free wifi in its space, it’s outrageous.
Coming later: Why offering free wifi saves airlines money and why Southwest should demand the airports it serves offer passengers free wifi — or offer it itself.