Is It Ok To Charge For Wifi

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

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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. docj

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    QUOTE(LM&TinView @ Jul 28 2014, 11:24 AM) [snapback]37515[/snapback]


    These days, if a CG offers good, free wifi, we'll use it for basic web surfing such as news, RVPR, free overnight parking, GasBuddy, GoogleMaps, etc. However, having spent too much time in high tech, my wife and I are paranoid about security. When we conduct financial or other transactions that require security, we have our own Verizon MiFi.



    I've posted this so many times that I ought to save it on my computer and just do a copy and paste.

    When you communicate with a financial organization or any other that uses HTTPS protocol your information is protected by the encryption protocol that is the heart of SSL. It doesn't matter if the wifi you are using is encrypted or not; your information is not at risk.

    The "horror stories" that get passed around the internet invariably relate to people who have been fooled into connecting to "scam" wifi systems set up for the purpose of collecting user information. If you connect to a wifi at McDonalds, or any other place, make sure you are connecting to the real wifi setup by the restaurant.

    If you still prefer to use your own MiFi for doing your banking that's fine with me, but don't confuse other people by spreading rumors that campground wifi is unsafe. I have yet to have anyone come back and show me evidence of someone connecting to an HTTPS site having had their information stolen. As far as I am aware, the only organization that can hack HTTPS is the NSA and we all know that "Big Brother" is watching us! :lol:
     
  2. hturnerfamily

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    The four of us in our full-time RVing family vote that every RV park should include FREE wifi within their pricing. Two of us(11, and 14) DEMAND wifi, and I think you know why!
    Think about several years ago when this conversation may have revolved around whether parks should provide tv channels or not.
    As we progress, our lives change in how we not only work(some of us do while RVing), but also in how we enjoy our days. Wifi is the current link to enjoyable times with all the options we expect today - video, communications(email), games(mainly for kids? no!), interesting internet searches, and most interestingly, the very website you are looking at right now!

    Let's also take it a step further - today we expect to be able to plan our trip, our next move, by searching for the next RV park where we are heading, what the expected pricing is, what the amenities are, and maybe even the ratings to determine is the Wifi is Free!
    RV Parks only have to realize that in today's business environment(and they are a business), the market(customers) ultimately demand what is needed(expected).

    Wifi is a desire for some things, a want for others, and a need for most.

    Also, RV park owners who are not 'internet or computer savy', as many aren't, are tending to rely on large RV park internet install and management companies to handle their Wifi. Most park owners will quickly admit that they don't have a clue how to do it themselves, and certainly don't want to have to answer to their customers about why it's not working. Just call the 800 number.
    Most RV park owners could easily reach out to a local tech person, or company, and probably handle their own Wifi systems themselves, with even better Wifi reception, as well as customer reception. : )





    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?
     
  3. ourflat

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    I sat down with a campground owner to understand why their WIFI was so slow. I soon discovered the owner didn't understand the dynamics of running such a system and was totally relying on the cable company/contractor installing system. I watched a cable company try to sell a 50 GB DLS system to a campground for 100 spots. What a joke! Don't even think about accessing your bank account or email under that speed during morning, lunch or evening hours. When talking to the cable contractor, I was told the campground owner did not want to pay for the upgraded 100 GB system which would best serve the campground community but still lacked T1 connectivity, which is what every campground should strive for in serving their customers. I have an extended WIFI repeater system in my MH along with a Cell Phone extender. I normally use my cell phone to tether m WIFI and do not use most of the campground's WIFI because it is just too slow! I enjoy using my Dish Sling to watch my recorded movies/shows while on the road and don't care to use a campground with slow WIFI. Campground owners take note; your very livelihood could depend on having a reliable and dependable internet service for those of us who use technology on a daily basis!
     
  4. NYDutch

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    The fastest service Comcast has available for businesses is 100 Mbs, not "100 GB". A T1 line has 24 symmetrical channels capable of a max speed of 64Kbs per channel for a max speed of 24 x 64Kb = 1536Kbs or approx 1.5Mbs if all 24 channels are bonded. At one point, a full T1 line was considered the pinnacle of Internet connectivity, but that was a very long time ago in technology years.
     
  5. docj

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    QUOTE(ourflat @ Aug 31 2014, 08:38 AM) [snapback]38036[/snapback]

    I sat down with a campground owner to understand why their WIFI was so slow. I soon discovered the owner didn't understand the dynamics of running such a system and was totally relying on the cable company/contractor installing system. I watched a cable company try to sell a 50 GB DLS system to a campground for 100 spots. What a joke! Don't even think about accessing your bank account or email under that speed during morning, lunch or evening hours. When talking to the cable contractor, I was told the campground owner did not want to pay for the upgraded 100 GB system which would best serve the campground community but still lacked T1 connectivity, which is what every campground should strive for in serving their customers. I have an extended WIFI repeater system in my MH along with a Cell Phone extender. I normally use my cell phone to tether m WIFI and do not use most of the campground's WIFI because it is just too slow! I enjoy using my Dish Sling to watch my recorded movies/shows while on the road and don't care to use a campground with slow WIFI. Campground owners take note; your very livelihood could depend on having a reliable and dependable internet service for those of us who use technology on a daily basis!



    With all due respect I don't think you have all that much experience with shared networks. As has already been pointed out your units are wrong, the campground may have been discussing a 50 Mbps connection (not GB and not MB) but if it was a cable company they were discussing it with it would n't have been DSL (not DLS) it would have been a standard cable modem. And you are wrong when you talk as if this would be totally inadequate for a CG with 100 sites. I've spend the past 6 weeks at a CG with roughly 80 occupied sites out of 130. The owner pays for a ~18 Mbps cable modem connection and this has provided great service to everyone. In fact we routinely stream video on it (lowest resolution Netflix) without any difficulty and without bothering others.
     
  6. kcmoedoe

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    QUOTE(NYDutch @ Aug 31 2014, 11:23 AM) [snapback]38042[/snapback]

    The fastest service Comcast has available for businesses is 100 Mbs, not "100 GB". A T1 line has 24 symmetrical channels capable of a max speed of 64Kbs per channel for a max speed of 24 x 64Kb = 1536Kbs or approx 1.5Mbs if all 24 channels are bonded. At one point, a full T1 line was considered the pinnacle of Internet connectivity, but that was a very long time ago in technology years.


    50 mbps is smoking fast for a DSL connection, and I don't think 100 mbps is even possible yet in DSL. (though with the way things are progressing maybe in due time) Those type of speeds are also only going to be the theoretical, advertised speeds, your speeds will be less and during high usage times on the entire network, probably a lot less. The big choke point in DSL is it has very limited upload speeds, usually less than 10% of the download. That comes into play big time in the RV park applications since RVers like to upload their vacation pictures and movies. With the new HD digital movie cameras it is very easy to have a few 100 megs of data to upload, and there really isn't a practical wifi solution that can handle multiple uploads of that size simultaneously.
     
  7. NYDutch

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    QUOTE(kcmoedoe @ Aug 31 2014, 11:24 PM) [snapback]38063[/snapback]

    50 mbps is smoking fast for a DSL connection, and I don't think 100 mbps is even possible yet in DSL. (though with the way things are progressing maybe in due time) Those type of speeds are also only going to be the theoretical, advertised speeds, your speeds will be less and during high usage times on the entire network, probably a lot less. The big choke point in DSL is it has very limited upload speeds, usually less than 10% of the download. That comes into play big time in the RV park applications since RVers like to upload their vacation pictures and movies. With the new HD digital movie cameras it is very easy to have a few 100 megs of data to upload, and there really isn't a practical wifi solution that can handle multiple uploads of that size simultaneously.


    Since Comcast was given as the service provider, my assumption would be a cable connection, rather than a POTS DSL connection. Your points about DSL choke points are well taken though.
     
  8. hypogi

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    QUOTE(Camping Mer @ Jul 21 2014, 11:13 AM) [snapback]37392[/snapback]

    I would obviously prefer free above paying for WiFi, but I would also prefer high speed and be allowed to stream our movies, play games, and get online work completed quickly. If the internet is crawling slow, I would rather the CG charge me for high speed so I can do what I choose with the connection. With today's technology most of us need to access the internet and slow internet is starting become unacceptable and no excuse for it. Get free high speed or charge for it, don't settle for the slow or bad connections in the CG.


    You're assuming that the campground has any sort of options in the matter. For a campground located in a rural setting getting a higher speed internet connection isn't even possible. These talks about T3 lines and such are just unrealistic. Getting a DSL connection was a big deal for us when it came around which was less than 8 years ago. Saying that slow internet is unacceptable totally disrespects the camp owners who in most cases are doing everything they can to keep up with demands but due to location are limited with what they are able to provide.
     
  9. docj

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    QUOTE(hypogi @ Sep 3 2014, 05:24 PM) [snapback]38150[/snapback]

    You're assuming that the campground has any sort of options in the matter. For a campground located in a rural setting getting a higher speed internet connection isn't even possible. These talks about T3 lines and such are just unrealistic. Getting a DSL connection was a big deal for us when it came around which was less than 8 years ago. Saying that slow internet is unacceptable totally disrespects the camp owners who in most cases are doing everything they can to keep up with demands but due to location are limited with what they are able to provide.



    First of all, if DSL came to your area 8 years ago that's an eternity in technology terms; who knows what's available today? DSL is so limited by distance issues that sometimes getting a T3 is easier.

    No one is disrespecting CG owners who actually try to deliver first rate internet service to their customers, but all too many claim they are trying without thoroughly analyzing their options and without being willing to spend a reasonable amount on a per site per night basis (the same kind of $$ amount they're willing to spend, for example, on cable.

    I just spent the past 6 weeks at a rural campground whose energetic young owner wan't going to settle for second-rate wifi service. Since the available DSL service was inadequate to meet her needs she found a service provider who was willing to "throw" a signal to her from the nearest location that a cable connection could be established. She's paying a pretty penny for her wifi service (I know because she and I spent a lot of time talking about it), but she believes that excellent wifi is one of the things that distinguishes her CG from others.
     
  10. Don-in-GA

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    Its been awhile since I logged into this forum. I see the WIFI subject is still a hot topic. I am a RV Park owner and also my wife and I travel and camp in our RV. Two years ago we took a long trip out west and for 21 days stayed at many parks. Not once did we get a park with decent WIFI. It was frustrating. Many years ago we decided to add WIFI to our park. I have always been very interested in the challenge and have a junk yard of equipment to prove it :). The cost can be huge but the return in business is also huge. We do not charge for daily and weekly customers usage and should not be charged in my opinion. Almost everyone needs it and uses it now days. We do charge our monthly customers $20 per month. It has worked out very well and we never get any complaints. We have about 100 sites with 5 (APs) transmitters around the property with good coverage. Many parks just install the basic equipment and leave it wide open for all to enjoy, even the local non park neighbors. A controller that requires a login is a must. This keeps outside folks off the system to keep the speed up for your customers. A controller also gives the park owner the ability to spot the mega users and throttle speed if needed. In defense of many park owners, the availablity of a good high speed internet provider is a real problem. Some areas are so remote, they just dont have any good options. Any park near a major city has no excuses however. We are lucky to be able to get 100 Mb/s down stream and 25 Mb/s upstream. I spare no expense and only buy professional equipment. It's not uncommon for a customer to get 30 Mb/s download speed and we have even seen in the 50s a few times. Its also not uncommon for customers to have 3-5 devises all surfing at the same time. Thank goodness we have a commercial no limit internet provider. Our total usages ranges from 15 to 35 Gigs per day and rising. By charging the monthly users, which get a big camping discount anyway, this funds the WIFI system. I do not look at the income as profit (even though it is), we now find our self actually wanting to keep up with the latest and fastest we can get.

    If you are a park owner, take the time to get informed on this topic. When we take a reservation, many times the first two questions are...do you have WIFI? The second is does work worth a crap ? :) When people are away from home...they want to be connected.
     
  11. docj

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    Thank you Don-in-GA for providing an honest and intelligent answer. I wish more park owners shared your approach to doing business.
     
  12. Bluesbirdy

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    I’m glad to read that there is a camp owner who cares about his guests where it comes to Wi-Fi!

    The problem I encounter as a foreign tourist in the USA, is the fact that camp owners often don’t realize that there is a considerable amount of foreign tourists traveling around who are dependent on an internet connection for contacting relatives and friends via e-mail, WhatsApp, Skype etc.
    Residents of the USA have the 3G connection as an alternative, but for tourists 3G-data is not an option because roaming charges by telephone companies are ridiculous.
    If a campground doesn’t have Wi-Fi, I skip the place. And it so frustrating to discover that in many cases an advertised connection hardly works!
    Campground reviews with comments about (reliable) internet connection are really helpful. I think it should be a standard point to talk about in a review!

    The additional guests (reading about a good Wi-Fi connection in a review) coming to a campground should cover the costs of the Wi-Fi hardware investment (IMHO …).

    A tip for camp owners: give everybody a separate code for logging in to your network. In this way you can control the amount of data that’s being downloaded per connection and prevent that one person is streaming a movie while at the same time another person is hardly able to even setup a connection!

    Anyway, I hope to meat lots of camp owners like you, Don-in-GA!
     
  13. jimbob07

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    I am a park owner and have had this discussion many times. It is more about the total price for the site. Which is better ...$ 35 / day and pay for the WiFi if you want it or $ 40 / day with WiFi included ? It all boils down to covering expense and making the camping experience easy. We actually have folks who don't use their computers at the lake ! The value represented is more important that whether or not WiFi is free.
     
  14. RickB

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    We used to rely on heavily on WiFi to stay in touch with family but now we use our phone data plans almost exclusively. I feel badly for the foreign tourists though. We toured Europe last year and the free WiFi in all of the hotels and tour buses was great.
    We are friends with a couple who own an RV Park and we've stayed there for many years. They used to provide faster service but several years ago their provider informed them someone in the park was accessing porn sites and that they (the owners) could get in trouble for it. The short version is that they changed to Tengo. :mad:
     
  15. docj

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    It sounds as if your friends are giving you just part of a story. They got spooked over concerns that someone could be accessing illegal sites (e.g., child pornography) through their system and so they went to Tengo becuase it offers easy options for controller user site access. There are plenty of other options they could have implemented but Tengo is easy and doesn't require them to know much about wifi.

    But switching to Tengonet isn't what's responsible for the deterioration of their wifi. Tengo designs and implements wifi systems but doesn't require park owners to buy adequate bandwidth (backhaul). Some parks simply can't obtain adequate bandwidth but most can but it can be costly. Many park owners seem to get into wifi without realizing that it's not just the capital cost of implementing it; it's also the monthly cost of bandwidth and that requirement seems to grow each year as customers expect to be able to do everything on the internet in their RV that they can do at home. Professionally, I'm quite familiar with Tengonet and I can confidently say that they often get a bumb rap because their customers, the park owners, don't want to pay for adequate bandwidth.
     
  16. Florida Native

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    WiFi is not nearly as critical to us as before. We now both have tablets with Verizon access. I will use the WiFi if included in the price, but do not pay extra for it. We also have a WiFi antenna and a telescoping pole, so I can get a much better signal than most. Jimbob07 does your park have a pool or hot tub? I wanted to ask you about the handicap lift regulation if it did. You are not the Jimbob07 with 19 children are you?
     
  17. mdcamping

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    I voted for "be Free to entice more campers to the c/g"

    Now with this said I don't mind paying the cost of running adequate WiFi if it is absorbed in the campground daily fee, what I don't want is to be bothered with unexpected costs after I have checked in or finding out additional costs while checking in.

    The past few years I have found most campground WiFi has been so poor that now were using mostly our smart phones.

    Mike
     
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  18. Rollin Ollens

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    When this thread first started I answered that WiFi be included as part of the daily rate. This is no longer the case. I too have been disappointed so many times that we opted for our own air card. Using it is a lot less expensive than buying into Tengo or a like service and so much easier. I will try the "free" WiFi if available but no longer rely on it.

    Darrell
     
  19. RLM

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    The problem is that there is too much video streaming and other bandwidth hogging in a CG which then results in slow connections for others who might only want to do something simple like check email. I found a CG owner who had what might be an innovative idea for him. He eliminated the park wide WiFi and put a very good system in his clubhouse where you could go, sit comfortably at nice tables, drink free coffee, and have a free pastry. Those who wanted to trek to short distance from their rig did so. Others relied on their cell hotspots, or did without, but it was the customer's choice. He said it was much cheaper to buy donuts and he got less complaints.
     
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  20. Florida Native

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    I have done that many times, but want to be on the internet in my scrub clothes without anybody looking over my shoulder. With my antenna, I can get it in my coach. Watching short news type videos (1 to 3 minutes) is common with internet surfing now, The movie watching is another thing.
     

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