Thursday, October 04, 2007

Free the Internet

I'm in the airport, waiting for a flight to Denver. By the time you read this, of course, I'll be in Denver. Because I can't access the Internet in the air and I have to pay an outrageous amount for it in the airport. I used Google Gears to download my feeds, which is mostly useful since most of my feeds are full feeds. But if I want to hop on for 15 minutes to download some things to read on my 4-hour flight, I can't. Wouldn't it be nice if you could pay by the minute or something? The pricing structures for most airports/hotels/etc. are daily rates, usually around 10 bucks for 24 hours. I'm usually in an airport for less than an hour so it doesn't make sense to pay for a full day. And it's much more efficient to download some items to read offline than to read everything online. We used to do that in the days of dialup, but now not so much. Wireless and broadband are ubiquitous and mostly inexpensive (as a subscriber) so we just stay online all the time. But there are still these situations where momentary access would be useful. And honestly, in some cases, it might save money, energy and time.

Oh, I know I could have one of those wireless cards offered by the telecoms, but they're pretty pricey too. Most don't have a "pay-as-you-go" feature and require you to sign up for a plan at around $30/month. Considering I'm not in this situation that often, it doesn't make sense to pay for something I'd use 2-3 times a year. Most of these products are geared toward the frequent traveler or business person not the casual user. It's a shame. They're missing out on a few bucks from me and I'm looking around at several hundred people who would probably have chipped in a buck or two to do a quick email check or check the weather at their destination. If you want to go in on a business plan with me, call. No email, of course cause I'm off the grid.