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> Is It Ok To Charge For Wifi, Should Campgrounds charge for Internet access?
Should Campgrounds Charge for WiFi?
Campground WiFi should:
be Free to entice more campers to the c/g [ 323 ] ** [78.59%]
be Free in the more "deluxe" sites [ 23 ] ** [5.60%]
be charged for on a per usage basis (recieve an access code at check in if paid for) [ 44 ] ** [10.71%]
be Charged for by an outside agency when loggin on [ 9 ] ** [2.19%]
not be a part of the camping experience (leave your technology at home) [ 12 ] ** [2.92%]
Total Votes: 411
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docj
post May 7 2014, 12:49 PM
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QUOTE(taylorbanks @ May 7 2014, 11:36 AM) *



Also, in most urban or suburban areas, broadband and DSL connections will provide as much (or more) bandwidth as a dedicated line (like a T3 or DS3) at a fraction of the price.



I know that DSL bandwidth is not guaranteed and I assume the same is true for a D3. If you are going to sell customers assured bandwidth I think it is necessary that your park be served by a guaranteed bandwidth connection. Otherwise you are constantly going to get annoyed customers. T3's are guaranteed and are synchronous, that is the bandwidth is the same in both directions.


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BoomerNY
post May 11 2014, 09:09 AM
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(New to the forum, late to the discussion, but...)

My vote is pay at check-in for those who wish to use. I've never chosen a CG based on free wi-fi or cable hookups. As a consumer, when I see "free wi-fi" I presume that the daily rate for my site has already worked in a specific amount to help pay for that amenity, which is somewhat of a put-off. It wouldn't deter me from staying at that campground, but a mild annoyance nonetheless.

For us, when we hit the rv trail (2 kiddos, 6 and 4), we've never decided on a campground based on the availability of techno-amenities (wifi, cable, etc). The kids will have an iPad or Kindle to play games in the truck during the drive to keep them from getting antsy, but those things stay in the truck and don't get turned back on until we road trip home. So, for me, I don't like paying for things I don't use, hence the pay-for-usage gets my vote.
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cmesker
post May 22 2014, 11:00 AM
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We specifically seek out campgrounds with WIFI. Would we love to be able to "disconnect" for an entire week? YES! Can we? Unfortunately, no. My husband and I own our own IT business and we are the only employees. We technically don't "get" vacations, however if we can find campgrounds with solid WIFI, we can vacation and still deal with emergency type work issues as needed. It sure beats zero vacationing at all! I don't even mind to be charged for it, as long as it's reliable and actually works...which has been our biggest issue with places stating that they have WIFI.


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sammytoo1950
post May 23 2014, 09:24 AM
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QUOTE(docj @ May 7 2014, 12:49 PM) *

I know that DSL bandwidth is not guaranteed and I assume the same is true for a D3. If you are going to sell customers assured bandwidth I think it is necessary that your park be served by a guaranteed bandwidth connection. Otherwise you are constantly going to get annoyed customers. T3's are guaranteed and are synchronous, that is the bandwidth is the same in both directions.

I just saw an ad in Los Angeles for t3. Only $6000 per month!!! Couple that with the cost of routers and access points and I think that makes it prohibitive for most smaller campgrounds. They would never get enough paying subscribers to cover their costs.
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kcmoedoe
post May 23 2014, 09:51 AM
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QUOTE(sammytoo1950 @ May 23 2014, 09:24 AM) *

I just saw an ad in Los Angeles for t3. Only $6000 per month!!! Couple that with the cost of routers and access points and I think that makes it prohibitive for most smaller campgrounds. They would never get enough paying subscribers to cover their costs.

It becomes even more cost prohibitive when you actually make the business case decision on it. Those costs would only be offset by the ADDITIONAL business the park would make. Only the additional business generated by customers who needed that kind of speed and reliability, were willing to pay for it and KNEW that that park offered it can reasonably be attributed to that $72,000 yearly expenditure. The revenues from customers who already stay at that park and are OK with is already offered can't be considered when determining if that expenditure is justified. To get any additional customers you would need to advertise the service, another cost. I agree with you, never going to happen.
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TranQuilguy
post May 23 2014, 10:20 AM
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QUOTE(cmesker @ May 22 2014, 12:00 PM) *

We specifically seek out campgrounds with WIFI. Would we love to be able to "disconnect" for an entire week? YES! Can we? Unfortunately, no. My husband and I own our own IT business and we are the only employees. We technically don't "get" vacations, however if we can find campgrounds with solid WIFI, we can vacation and still deal with emergency type work issues as needed. It sure beats zero vacationing at all! I don't even mind to be charged for it, as long as it's reliable and actually works...which has been our biggest issue with places stating that they have WIFI.


I think the connection you require is your responsibility,not an RV Park that ,like you,are just trying to make a living.You said you own your IT business so may I respectfully request you you MIFI your company? smile.gif
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Camping Mer
post Jul 21 2014, 09:13 AM
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I would obviously prefer free above paying for WiFi, but I would also prefer high speed and be allowed to stream our movies, play games, and get online work completed quickly. If the internet is crawling slow, I would rather the CG charge me for high speed so I can do what I choose with the connection. With today's technology most of us need to access the internet and slow internet is starting become unacceptable and no excuse for it. Get free high speed or charge for it, don't settle for the slow or bad connections in the CG.
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kcmoedoe
post Jul 21 2014, 10:03 AM
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QUOTE(Camping Mer @ Jul 21 2014, 09:13 AM) *

I would obviously prefer free above paying for WiFi, but I would also prefer high speed and be allowed to stream our movies, play games, and get online work completed quickly. If the internet is crawling slow, I would rather the CG charge me for high speed so I can do what I choose with the connection. With today's technology most of us need to access the internet and slow internet is starting become unacceptable and no excuse for it. Get free high speed or charge for it, don't settle for the slow or bad connections in the CG.

Actually, there are many, many reasons for slow internet and bad connections. Some are within the control of the park, however many are not. You say, "with today's technology" we all need access to the internet. I would add "with today's technology" if you need reliable, high speed internet you can easily buy it from any number of wireless carriers. I have posted several times before, and I will repeat it here, public wifi will soon join the telephone booth as a relic of times past. Everyone will be providing (and paying for) their own internet access via some kind of data plan in the very near future.
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docj
post Jul 21 2014, 12:44 PM
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QUOTE(kcmoedoe @ Jul 21 2014, 11:03 AM) *

I have posted several times before, and I will repeat it here, public wifi will soon join the telephone booth as a relic of times past. Everyone will be providing (and paying for) their own internet access via some kind of data plan in the very near future.


Alternatively, widespread availability of fiber may make it possible for businesses to give away high quality internet for free as a way of attracting customers. We've been in Canada for the past month and we have encountered a lot of totally free, high speed connections. Virtually all restaurants and many stores seem to offer an open wifi.

It's too soon to tell how this will work out; don't forget that the US lags well behind many other countries in availability of broadband access; so don't base your assumptions just on what you see around you today.


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LM&TinView
post Jul 28 2014, 10:24 AM
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Wow! I can't believe this thread has been active for 6 years. That's an eon in technology. So many changes have occurred in wifi technology that this thread is, for all practical purposes, irrelevant. For example, even though we're "OF" retirees, we access the Internet on an almost daily basis to find everything from our next CG to cheap diesel to restaurant reviews to best routes and local attractions. We also update our blog, keep up with our finances, check e-mail accounts (multiple) and read the news.

These days, if a CG offers good, free wifi, we'll use it for basic web surfing such as news, RVPR, free overnight parking, GasBuddy, GoogleMaps, etc. However, having spent too much time in high tech, my wife and I are paranoid about security. When we conduct financial or other transactions that require security, we have our own Verizon MiFi. Additionally, both our smartphones have ~2GB of data for a total of ~10GB/month including the MiFi. There are others with greater data needs who use services like Millenicomm to access 20GB/month.

If you NEED wifi and depend on CGs, you might want to rethink your strategy. Also, as the two previous posters said, wifi will probably be obsolete in the not-too-distant future.

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docj
post Jul 29 2014, 09:59 AM
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QUOTE(LM&TinView @ Jul 28 2014, 11:24 AM) *


These days, if a CG offers good, free wifi, we'll use it for basic web surfing such as news, RVPR, free overnight parking, GasBuddy, GoogleMaps, etc. However, having spent too much time in high tech, my wife and I are paranoid about security. When we conduct financial or other transactions that require security, we have our own Verizon MiFi.


I've posted this so many times that I ought to save it on my computer and just do a copy and paste.

When you communicate with a financial organization or any other that uses HTTPS protocol your information is protected by the encryption protocol that is the heart of SSL. It doesn't matter if the wifi you are using is encrypted or not; your information is not at risk.

The "horror stories" that get passed around the internet invariably relate to people who have been fooled into connecting to "scam" wifi systems set up for the purpose of collecting user information. If you connect to a wifi at McDonalds, or any other place, make sure you are connecting to the real wifi setup by the restaurant.

If you still prefer to use your own MiFi for doing your banking that's fine with me, but don't confuse other people by spreading rumors that campground wifi is unsafe. I have yet to have anyone come back and show me evidence of someone connecting to an HTTPS site having had their information stolen. As far as I am aware, the only organization that can hack HTTPS is the NSA and we all know that "Big Brother" is watching us! laugh.gif


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hturnerfamily
post Aug 12 2014, 05:03 PM
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The four of us in our full-time RVing family vote that every RV park should include FREE wifi within their pricing. Two of us(11, and 14) DEMAND wifi, and I think you know why!
Think about several years ago when this conversation may have revolved around whether parks should provide tv channels or not.
As we progress, our lives change in how we not only work(some of us do while RVing), but also in how we enjoy our days. Wifi is the current link to enjoyable times with all the options we expect today - video, communications(email), games(mainly for kids? no!), interesting internet searches, and most interestingly, the very website you are looking at right now!

Let's also take it a step further - today we expect to be able to plan our trip, our next move, by searching for the next RV park where we are heading, what the expected pricing is, what the amenities are, and maybe even the ratings to determine is the Wifi is Free!
RV Parks only have to realize that in today's business environment(and they are a business), the market(customers) ultimately demand what is needed(expected).

Wifi is a desire for some things, a want for others, and a need for most.

Also, RV park owners who are not 'internet or computer savy', as many aren't, are tending to rely on large RV park internet install and management companies to handle their Wifi. Most park owners will quickly admit that they don't have a clue how to do it themselves, and certainly don't want to have to answer to their customers about why it's not working. Just call the 800 number.
Most RV park owners could easily reach out to a local tech person, or company, and probably handle their own Wifi systems themselves, with even better Wifi reception, as well as customer reception. : )





QUOTE(drmcleod @ Jul 18 2008, 06:18 PM) *

Should Campgrounds charge for Internet access?

I would like to get other opinions on this.

My opinion is no! I have two reasons for this.

First, as a consumer. Having free internet access is actually one of the things I look for in a campground. It's a 'perk' if you will. If I have the choice between two, somewhat comparable, c/g's then I will choose the one with free WiFi. Heck, I'll even choose the one with free WiFi over one that is slightly nicer with fee for service.

Second, as a business owner (of which I am one). It does not cost more to allow the whole campground access to your broadband service. The only additional expense is the addition of the hardware. In some cases this might be more expensive if additional antennas are required and installation requires an expert. Also, a higher than basic internet subscription is needed. However, if the c/g is going to charge for its WiFi service, then all of this has to be done anyway. Therefore, consider it a marketing expense to drive more people to your c/g. Why do you think that places like Panera Bread and even McDonald's are offering free WiFi? I know I choose to eat there when I need a place to surf while I eat. In my case, I want more people to come to my place of business, so I make my wireless service available to all. It costs me no more, but brings more people to me.

What do you think?

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ourflat
post Aug 31 2014, 07:38 AM
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I sat down with a campground owner to understand why their WIFI was so slow. I soon discovered the owner didn't understand the dynamics of running such a system and was totally relying on the cable company/contractor installing system. I watched a cable company try to sell a 50 GB DLS system to a campground for 100 spots. What a joke! Don't even think about accessing your bank account or email under that speed during morning, lunch or evening hours. When talking to the cable contractor, I was told the campground owner did not want to pay for the upgraded 100 GB system which would best serve the campground community but still lacked T1 connectivity, which is what every campground should strive for in serving their customers. I have an extended WIFI repeater system in my MH along with a Cell Phone extender. I normally use my cell phone to tether m WIFI and do not use most of the campground's WIFI because it is just too slow! I enjoy using my Dish Sling to watch my recorded movies/shows while on the road and don't care to use a campground with slow WIFI. Campground owners take note; your very livelihood could depend on having a reliable and dependable internet service for those of us who use technology on a daily basis!
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NYDutch
post Aug 31 2014, 11:23 AM
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The fastest service Comcast has available for businesses is 100 Mbs, not "100 GB". A T1 line has 24 symmetrical channels capable of a max speed of 64Kbs per channel for a max speed of 24 x 64Kb = 1536Kbs or approx 1.5Mbs if all 24 channels are bonded. At one point, a full T1 line was considered the pinnacle of Internet connectivity, but that was a very long time ago in technology years.


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docj
post Aug 31 2014, 02:00 PM
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QUOTE(ourflat @ Aug 31 2014, 08:38 AM) *

I sat down with a campground owner to understand why their WIFI was so slow. I soon discovered the owner didn't understand the dynamics of running such a system and was totally relying on the cable company/contractor installing system. I watched a cable company try to sell a 50 GB DLS system to a campground for 100 spots. What a joke! Don't even think about accessing your bank account or email under that speed during morning, lunch or evening hours. When talking to the cable contractor, I was told the campground owner did not want to pay for the upgraded 100 GB system which would best serve the campground community but still lacked T1 connectivity, which is what every campground should strive for in serving their customers. I have an extended WIFI repeater system in my MH along with a Cell Phone extender. I normally use my cell phone to tether m WIFI and do not use most of the campground's WIFI because it is just too slow! I enjoy using my Dish Sling to watch my recorded movies/shows while on the road and don't care to use a campground with slow WIFI. Campground owners take note; your very livelihood could depend on having a reliable and dependable internet service for those of us who use technology on a daily basis!


With all due respect I don't think you have all that much experience with shared networks. As has already been pointed out your units are wrong, the campground may have been discussing a 50 Mbps connection (not GB and not MB) but if it was a cable company they were discussing it with it would n't have been DSL (not DLS) it would have been a standard cable modem. And you are wrong when you talk as if this would be totally inadequate for a CG with 100 sites. I've spend the past 6 weeks at a CG with roughly 80 occupied sites out of 130. The owner pays for a ~18 Mbps cable modem connection and this has provided great service to everyone. In fact we routinely stream video on it (lowest resolution Netflix) without any difficulty and without bothering others.


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