The Increasingly Ridiculous Cost of Hotel Internet Access

I've been here in Las Vegas for the Consumer Electronics Show, and it's been a great visit, well worth the time and expense. Well, except for my hotel's Internet access.
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I've been here in Las Vegas for the Consumer Electronics Show representing my site, Ask Dave Taylor, and it's been a great show, well worth the time, expense and visit to Las Vegas. I've stayed at the Wynn hotel, which has proven great, a lovely big room with sectional sofa and huge flat-panel TV, quiet, upscale, and very well thought out amenities.

Except for Internet access.

As has become all too common with Internet access in hotels, the Wynn charges not by room for Internet access, but by computer, so that they can maximize their revenue: share a room and each of you pays for Internet access. At $13.99/day that adds up fast.

The problem is, we've moved beyond a single Internet access device per traveler. I travel with three devices that each want to get their personal ray of Internet sunshine: My laptop, my iPad and my iPhone 4. According to hotel policies, that'd be 3x13.99 or $41.97/day for Internet access.

Worse, though, my roomie here at CES also has a laptop, smartphone and iPad, so between us they'd be collecting a staggering $83.94/day for Internet access. Four days for CES and that's almost $350 for Internet access.

Clearly this is an outdated way of charging for access, to say the least!

Having said that, I can also appreciate the dilemma of the hotels, particularly a $2 billion hotel/casino like the Wynn: they have to generate revenue every way that they can. But there's a balance needed here, some sort of midpoint where Internet access isn't free, but it also isn't a ridiculously high expense either.

One possibility: they could actually just ask how many laptops or computers you need, or each access token could be good for two devices, say, a laptop and a smartphone, but as it stands, travelers are going to find more and more that Internet access is a pain point, whether here in Las Vegas or elsewhere in the world.

For the record, we solved the Internet access dilemma by bringing a portable WiFi router that we plugged into the Ethernet jack in the room, then used as our base station for Internet access. It let all six of our devices go online with a single access point.

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