Tuesday, April 12, 2005 - The Progress & Freedom Foundation Blog

Wi-Fi Isn't Free

As I often do, I am working from the local, Bohemian coffee house with "free" wi-fi access. At any given time, there are six to a dozen laptops open here making use of the broadband network. Access is open and "free." However, because schlubs like me (and my fellow caffeine-addled laptop addicts), the former policy of unlimited free coffee refills has been replaced by a "one refill" policy. The counter-person explained to me that once they installed the wi-fi, people began to stay all day surfing the web and drinking endless gallons of coffee. In turn, this created congestion in the shop and increased their coffee costs. So the unlimited refills went away and the single refill rule became a crude metering device for users to pay for the wi-fi and the overhead of the shop. So, my wi-fi isn't free, I am just paying for it with every cup I drink.

posted by Ray Gifford @ 4:13 PM | Economics , Municipal Ownership