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Business & Technology

Hotels take a lesson from airlines, eye charging for WiFi service

June 21st, 2012 7:54 am by Staff Report

Some of the USA's biggest hotel chains that offer free Wi-Fi are considering adding charges after seeing insatiable demand for Internet bandwidth from guests.

No chain that includes Internet access in its room rate has pulled back on offering Wi-Fi for free, but some are giving customers the option of paying extra for upgraded bandwidth so they don't get frustrated by sluggish speeds. Currently, Marriott International and Carlson Hotels have some locations that offer free Wi-Fi and a faster choice for an additional sum.

Carlson's Country Inn & Suites says it has no plans to expand this tiered pricing strategy. But, spokeswoman Rosanne Swanson says, the chain will "continue to monitor guests' expectations and evaluate options." The Wyndham Hotel Group, most of whose brands such as the Ramada, Wyndham and Super 8 offer free access, also is "exploring options that allow for hybrid or tiered service models," says spokeswoman Christine Da Silva.

Read the expanded version of this report at the USA Today Web site.

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