Is It Ok To Charge For Wifi

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by drmcleod, Jul 18, 2008.

?

Campground WiFi should:

  1. be Free to entice more campers to the c/g

    7 vote(s)
    58.3%
  2. be Free in the more "deluxe" sites

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. be charged for on a per usage basis (recieve an access code at check in if paid for)

    1 vote(s)
    8.3%
  4. be Charged for by an outside agency when loggin on

    2 vote(s)
    16.7%
  5. not be a part of the camping experience (leave your technology at home)

    2 vote(s)
    16.7%
  1. drmcleod

    drmcleod
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    Should Campgrounds charge for Internet access?

    I would like to get other opinions on this.

    My opinion is no! I have two reasons for this.

    First, as a consumer. Having free internet access is actually one of the things I look for in a campground. It's a 'perk' if you will. If I have the choice between two, somewhat comparable, c/g's then I will choose the one with free WiFi. Heck, I'll even choose the one with free WiFi over one that is slightly nicer with fee for service.

    Second, as a business owner (of which I am one). It does not cost more to allow the whole campground access to your broadband service. The only additional expense is the addition of the hardware. In some cases this might be more expensive if additional antennas are required and installation requires an expert. Also, a higher than basic internet subscription is needed. However, if the c/g is going to charge for its WiFi service, then all of this has to be done anyway. Therefore, consider it a marketing expense to drive more people to your c/g. Why do you think that places like Panera Bread and even McDonald's are offering free WiFi? I know I choose to eat there when I need a place to surf while I eat. In my case, I want more people to come to my place of business, so I make my wireless service available to all. It costs me no more, but brings more people to me.

    What do you think?
     
    Steve-Sharon likes this.
  2. Florida Native

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    We had another long debate about this a few months back. It is now an accepted fact that more and more campgrounds are getting WiFi, some of the units are poorly set up and not available in your coach. We had instillation cost quoted on this site of up to $6,000 a year and thousands of dollars a year for maintain. On our recent 3 month plus trip, one of the best receptions we got was in Southern Nebraska and the campground owner showed me his setup. He had a $50 router in the back of his own computer hanging by the power cord in his window. We got 5 bars and were thrilled. I had told him we chose him instead of the other Passport America campground in the area because of it an he said that he didn’t know why everybody didn’t have one because it only cost him $50 to install and $29/month. He had had it for 2 years. I think free WiFi is getting to be almost a requirement. Now that the economy is so poor and gas is so high, that camper are looking to save wherever possible and a percentage of us are going to let that $3.95 or whatever might make a difference.
     
  3. DXSMac

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    Free WiFi. YES! If you want the "camping" experience and "leave your technology at home," then go to the State Parks! (Although I understand some state parks have Wifi.....)

    JJ
     
  4. RLM

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    Yes, we've had this discussion. It is one of those - nothing is free or can't please everyone - issues.

    What I found interesting in the poll questions is one of the choices relating to "Deluxe" sites. First, how does one provide Wi-Fi to a deluxe site and not the rest of the park? The system is predicated on radio reception and transmission. Secondly, if that were even possible, does that mean that the extra cost of a deluxe site includes "free wi-fi?" If there is an extra cost for a deluxe site, then again nothing is free.

    Drmcleod> Please understand that I absolutely don't mean any disrespect, but you made several conflicting comments: It does not cost more.... The only additional expense ... Consider it a marketing expense .

    And since you are a business owner, I suspect that you know that when McDonalds puts in Wi-FI it represents budget dust. Not even a blip on the P/L statement. Therefore, a private campground and Mickey Ds is not a good comparison.

    If anyone believes that campground marketing tool of free Wi-Fi is true, then I've got a used car for sell that only my grandmother drove to church on Sundays.

    Put me down for RELIABLE Wi-Fi. Free or not.
     
  5. pianotuna

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    Hi JJ,

    Yes some State Parks do--for example Lewis and Clark State Park in North Dakota. $22.00 for power and water (if you have a long enough hose) for truely fine wifi broad band internet!

    QUOTE(DXSMac @ Jul 21 2008, 02:34 PM) [snapback]12352[/snapback]

    Free WiFi. YES! If you want the "camping" experience and "leave your technology at home," then go to the State Parks! (Although I understand some state parks have Wifi.....)

    JJ
     
  6. DXSMac

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    QUOTE(RLM @ Jul 21 2008, 06:43 PM) [snapback]12354[/snapback]

    What I found interesting in the poll questions is one of the choices relating to "Deluxe" sites. First, how does one provide Wi-Fi to a deluxe site and not the rest of the park? The system is predicated on radio reception and transmission. Secondly, if that were even possible, does that mean that the extra cost of a deluxe site includes "free wi-fi?" If there is an extra cost for a deluxe site, then again nothing is free.





    RLM, apparently it's possible. I have been at a park that did this. The park was Crown Villa RV Resort in Bend, OR. If you are in their interior, you get free WiFi, but you pay a higher price. If you take their "perimeter" sites, you are charged extra for WiFi. I'm not sure how they did this because I took the interior to get free WiFi.

    JJ
     
  7. jperera

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    QUOTE(Lindsay Richards @ Jul 21 2008, 01:11 PM) [snapback]12351[/snapback]

    We had another long debate about this a few months back. It is now an accepted fact that more and more campgrounds are getting WiFi, some of the units are poorly set up and not available in your coach. We had instillation cost quoted on this site of up to $6,000 a year and thousands of dollars a year for maintain. On our recent 3 month plus trip, one of the best receptions we got was in Southern Nebraska and the campground owner showed me his setup. He had a $50 router in the back of his own computer hanging by the power cord in his window. We got 5 bars and were thrilled. I had told him we chose him instead of the other Passport America campground in the area because of it an he said that he didn’t know why everybody didn’t have one because it only cost him $50 to install and $29/month. He had had it for 2 years. I think free WiFi is getting to be almost a requirement. Now that the economy is so poor and gas is so high, that camper are looking to save wherever possible and a percentage of us are going to let that $3.95 or whatever might make a difference.



    We have just returned from a 3+ month trip also. The most expensive rate for Wi Fi was $15/day or $2.45 for 2 consecutive hours at Kentucky Horst Park, the second most expensive was in Myrtle Beach which was $10/day. By far a majority of the parks offered it for free. Of course we had some situations with low or no connectivity but most of them had an excellent signal with 11 Mbps. Some had 54 Mbps. Many of those with the best signal were the smaller parks. I considered the parks we found that had a good review on this site, offered a good wi fi connection for free or $2 or less/day and were Passport America parks a real gem. We avoided any real disasters by reading reviews, mostly on this site.
     
  8. tandiee

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    QUOTE(jperera @ Jul 22 2008, 09:13 AM) [snapback]12362[/snapback]

    We have just returned from a 3+ month trip also. The most expensive rate for Wi Fi was $15/day or $2.45 for 2 consecutive hours at Kentucky Horst Park, the second most expensive was in Myrtle Beach which was $10/day. By far a majority of the parks offered it for free. Of course we had some situations with low or no connectivity but most of them had an excellent signal with 11 Mbps. Some had 54 Mbps. Many of those with the best signal were the smaller parks. I considered the parks we found that had a good review on this site, offered a good wi fi connection for free or $2 or less/day and were Passport America parks a real gem. We avoided any real disasters by reading reviews, mostly on this site.
     
  9. tandiee

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    QUOTE(drmcleod @ Jul 18 2008, 06:18 PM) [snapback]12323[/snapback]

    Should Campgrounds charge for Internet access?

    I would like to get other opinions on this.

    My opinion is no! I have two reasons for this.

    First, as a consumer. Having free internet access is actually one of the things I look for in a campground. It's a 'perk' if you will. If I have the choice between two, somewhat comparable, c/g's then I will choose the one with free WiFi. Heck, I'll even choose the one with free WiFi over one that is slightly nicer with fee for service.

    Second, as a business owner (of which I am one). It does not cost more to allow the whole campground access to your broadband service. The only additional expense is the addition of the hardware. In some cases this might be more expensive if additional antennas are required and installation requires an expert. Also, a higher than basic internet subscription is needed. However, if the c/g is going to charge for its WiFi service, then all of this has to be done anyway. Therefore, consider it a marketing expense to drive more people to your c/g. Why do you think that places like Panera Bread and even McDonald's are offering free WiFi? I know I choose to eat there when I need a place to surf while I eat. In my case, I want more people to come to my place of business, so I make my wireless service available to all. It costs me no more, but brings more people to me.

    What do you think?



    I think WiFi should be free, almost all the Motels offer it and most are free.
    We have Sprint wireless internet so we usually don't have to worry if the camp grounds have WiFi or not. We probably will switch to Cingular (AT&T) when our contract is up with Sprint, AT&T is a better provider.
     
  10. kcmoedoe

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    "Free" WiFi is great, but remember it is not really free. It is included in the rate you pay for your site. Just like water, sewer, electricity, etc. I find just as much value in a site that offers items al la carte. I see no difference in paying $30 for a basic site and having the option to purchase Wifi at $4.00 per day and cable for $4.00 per day versus paying $38.00 per night and having all those items "free". The advantage to the add on price is if I don't want or need it, I don't have to pay for it. I look at the total cost at each campground before I decide if it is a value or not.
     
  11. Florida Native

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    The most expensive rate for Wi Fi was $15/day or $2.45 for 2 consecutive hours at Kentucky Horst Park, the second most expensive was in Myrtle Beach which was $10/day.

    Wow, this is highway robbery. I still don't have a handle on how much WiFi actually costs the campground owner. The estimates we have seen both here and with my talks to many campground owners has varied so much and I am still confused. I don't think people are fibbing to me, but it jsut dosn't make sense. I am still hoping for that the new WiMax (or whatever it is called) will be taking over. I have been hearing for years that Wal-Mart is going to have an antenna on each of their roofs with a 30 mile radius. That will solve a lot of these problems.
     
  12. pianotuna

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    Hi Lindsay,

    I decided I'd look at British Columbia and search on wifi = yes, followed by a search on wifi = no.

    There were 86 campgrounds with wifi, and 85 without. The Provincial parks have no services so that would skew the results towards the without side!

    I just repeated the same test with North Dakota and there were 24 with and 44 without.

    Kansas 93 with and 145 without
     
  13. gilda

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  14. Jon Juan

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    When I'm looking for RV Parks in a area if they don't have WIFI they get moved to the bottom of the list. If they charge for it the are marked off the list. :rolleyes:
     
  15. Florida Native

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    QUOTE
    I decided I'd look at British Columbia and search on wifi = yes, followed by a search on wifi = no.


    We noticed that many campgrounds listed did not mention WiFi, but they did have it. Listings are updated yearly, websites probably less often, and our camping books not often enough. We called and were frequently pleased to find out they did in fact have WiFi without it being mentioned. I now have an extension pole that I can velcro onto my awning stanchion and my WiFi antenna will be up above my coach roof. Haven't actually tried it in a camping situation yet, but will soon. I am convinced that campground owners are getting the message that WiFi is a real desired amenity.
     
  16. Lee and Fran

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    Heck all a park has to do is raise it rates a dollar or two per day and that should more than cover their cost for the service they are providing. No other costs should be added.
     
  17. kcmoedoe

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    QUOTE(Lee and Fran @ Jul 23 2008, 08:51 PM) [snapback]12397[/snapback]

    Heck all a park has to do is raise it rates a dollar or two per day and that should more than cover their cost for the service they are providing. No other costs should be added.


    A dollar or two here and a dollar or two there and pretty soon we are talking about significant added fees. Two dollars a day times the 180 or so days we spend in the RV is $360.00 for a service we might not use. Unfortunately That will only get me a half a tank of diesel.
     
  18. bjma

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    to provide WiFi access is dirt cheap and has a high return for the investment.

    I will pick a free WiFi park over a pay to use over a no WiFi. I will pick a park with fewer "stars/diamonds/numbers" if they offer free WiFi.

    I cannot leave my technology at home, I AM TECHNOLOGY, I need access to monitor my web store, manage my yahoo groups, and online classes.

    If I were a full timer, I would have satellite access and park supplied WiFi will not matter.
     
  19. Florida Native

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    The buzzword I keep seeing is “WiFi available” means, we have it, but we charge extra for it. When we see this phrase, this place goes to the bottom of the list. I have noticed that more an more of campgrounds who might have this in a campground books, now have free WiFi. This is telling me that more and more campgrounds are switching from paid to free WiFi. Investing in a good WiFi antenna is really a necessity if you do a lot of boondocking.
     
  20. hypogi

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    As a former park owner I can tell you one thing for sure. There is no such thing as free wifi. As soon as a park offers it the overnight price goes up a buck or two. If it doesnt that means you will be paying for it when you log in.

    We struggled at our park to get a consistent wifi signal. Our place was so hilly and had so many trees that hanging a 50$ router out the window never would have worked for us. So we are sympathetic when we arrive at a park and the wifi isnt as strong as we would like it to be. Try as you might things just dont always work they way you want them too.
     

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