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Saturday, October 1, 2016

Airports Are Cutting Back On Free Wi-Fi

Above, the Terminal One Deparrture level at Narita International Airport. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

One of the nice things about airports while waiting for a flight is free Wi-Fi. It is a great help to let time go by faster while waiting.

But free Wi-Fi may become a thing of the past, thanks to some inconsiderate people who stream videos, among other things.

Travel + Leisure reported:
Some airports are backing out of unlimited free airport Wi-Fi service, and our always-on smartphone habits and addiction to video could be partially to blame. 
The news comes from a recent survey of global airport IT managers, conducted by aviation IT experts at SITA. The study found that while passengers can find unlimited free Wi-Fi at 74 percent of the world’s airports today, that will drop to only 54 percent of world airports by 2019. 
Instead, 37 percent of airports will offer a “hybrid” Wi-Fi service model: Passengers would still have some free full-speed Wi-Fi for a limited time, but would pay for any Wi-Fi after that. Or, there would be free unlimited lower-bandwidth Wi-Fi with the option to pay for more speed. (Or some other combination which helps the airport pay the bills.) 
Which specific airports are thinking of cutting back on unlimited free Wi-Fi is unpublished, but the trend towards a mixed-free/pay Wi-Fi service model is mainly driven by airports in North America and the Middle East, according to SITA.
To read more, go here.

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