I love how cafes have been adopting wireless nationwide here, but I’ve been dismayed at the number of them that require paying several dollars for just a few hours of use. More often than not, even when I’m willing to pay I’ve had problems signing on at starbucks in strange towns.
Now that prices have fallen on hardware, a cafe owner only needs a $40-50/mo DSL line and a $80 wireless access point to offer wireless to customers. That’s essentailly $2-3 a day of cost for the owner, which one extra grande latte would cover, and I’m glad many small cafe owners have figured this out. Customers will flock to places that offer it for free and buy more coffee.
Today I was at a cafe in rural Oregon that advertised wireless, but I assumed I’d have to sign up with Verizon or t-mobile. After popping open my laptop I found out it just worked. I checked email and my sites for the first time in a couple days and later on I met some friends for coffee. In total, I spent about $15 at the cafe, mostly because they offered free unlimited wireless. Thanks for getting it, Corner Coffee Roasters.