December 26, 2006

Spotty Internet Access the Scourge of Trips

The on-again, off-again status of wireless Internet this week, coming on the heels of Thanksgiving's near Web outage at San Simeon, has marred what would otherwise be a great holiday experience. For the second consecutive trip, my wife and I were misled by hotel owners that we would be provided consistent high-speed wireless Internet access, only to find the reality to be much different - a constant struggle to gain speeds similar to that of dialup modems from yesteryear, if anything at all.

As I've said many times here, high-speed Internet access in today's world is as essential as any other metric. If you expect lodging to have TV or phone access, Internet is just as necessary - whether you are visiting for work or for pleasure. And when I'm asked to pay anything from $6.95 to $14.95 a day for the potential of access, only to see a complete lack of success, it doubles down on my frustration.

Some might say the goal of a trip is to "get away", and by my being unconnected, this helps. But it doesn't. The Internet is more than a way to get real-time sports scores and trade e-mail. It's also the most convenient way to get weather updates, to order event tickets, and check flight status. Everything is made easier with Web access. I'm frankly tired of the bait and switch. Either get me a place that has reliable access, or I'll put myself in charge of the reservations and make that a requirement. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. I won't get fooled again.

Listening to ''Walking In My Shoes (Random Carpet Mix)'', by Depeche Mode (Play Count: 9)