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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 [ 322 ] ** [78.54%]
be Free in the more "deluxe" sites [ 23 ] ** [5.61%]
be charged for on a per usage basis (recieve an access code at check in if paid for) [ 44 ] ** [10.73%]
be Charged for by an outside agency when loggin on [ 9 ] ** [2.20%]
not be a part of the camping experience (leave your technology at home) [ 12 ] ** [2.93%]
Total Votes: 410
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taj4256
post Oct 5 2008, 12:03 AM
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Clearly there is expense to the campground to provide this so they need to be paid--either directly by those using or by everyone through the camping fee. I think the direct charge approach is more equitable BUT--if they charge, the signal better be strong and dependable at all campsites. I have had too many experiences where the service was so undependable it wasn't worth "free" much less $x per day.

QUOTE(drmcleod @ Jul 18 2008, 04:18 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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kcmoedoe
post Oct 5 2008, 12:14 PM
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Hi Pianotuna, Just a couple of thoughts. I would enable my home wifi security ASAP. Leaving your router unsecured opens your system up to anyone who wants to traffic over it. Even if your computer is shut down or with you in the RV the modem is up and functioning. Now it won't happen, unless you win the unlucky lottery, but what if a neighbor or just someone transiting the area finds your system is open and proceeds to download a couple of hundred gigabytes of child porn or uses your system to plan the next terrorist attack. You could find yourself the subject of a pretty embarrassing and scary investigation from law enforcement. It is very easy for law enforcement to trace traffic back to a router. It would be very inconvenient to have your home, RV and all personal possessions searched for a computer you do not own. Put a password on the system and stop 99.9% of all problems. If your computer is connected and turned on, your problems could multiply. A good hacker could attack your system and possibly steal valuable information. The modem is a substantial firewall and you defeat some of the security by leaving it open anyone. Downgrading a modem to wireless B will work to balance out bandwidth, but it will slow performance for all the guests. Things will not download as fast, so guests will have to wait longer for things like photos and videos to download. Since files cannot download as fast on "B" overall traffic on the network my actually increase since guests would be unable to download wanted files as quickly and then get off the network. It is my experience that on big files, many people just start the download and then walk away. I really like your other suggestion of just asking the guests to monitor and limit their high bandwidth traffic. I just hope it is not like asking a leopard to change his spots.
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pianotuna
post Oct 5 2008, 12:46 PM
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Hi kcmoedoe,

Having had an "almost" son in law who is a Phd in internet security and seen him cut through both a hardware firewall and software one in less than five minutes I'll take my chances and leave my wifi connection open. I only wish everyone would do the same. Any decent hacker can "crack" the type of security features I could afford to pay for.

Better not go across the road at a cross walk when the light is green--a car might run through a red light and kill you.

I know of no one who has had a hacker "invade" their personal computer. I've had one computer virus since 1993 when I was first on the net. My freeware virus checker made short work of that infection.

As to the wireless B--yes that was the whole point. Slow down the system for everyone so that the Satellite will take longer to use up it's daily "allotment" of bandwidth. Those who are using it for huge files won't care because they will not be around "watching" and those that are doing things like email or searching for a review will see little difference. Wireless B will give more folks a fairer share of the bandwidth pie. I believe the range is better too.

QUOTE(kcmoedoe @ Oct 5 2008, 12:14 PM) *

Hi Pianotuna, Just a couple of thoughts. I would enable my home wifi security ASAP. Leaving your router unsecured opens your system up to anyone who wants to traffic over it. Even if your computer is shut down or with you in the RV the modem is up and functioning. Now it won't happen, unless you win the unlucky lottery, but what if a neighbor or just someone transiting the area finds your system is open and proceeds to download a couple of hundred gigabytes of child porn or uses your system to plan the next terrorist attack. You could find yourself the subject of a pretty embarrassing and scary investigation from law enforcement. It is very easy for law enforcement to trace traffic back to a router. It would be very inconvenient to have your home, RV and all personal possessions searched for a computer you do not own. Put a password on the system and stop 99.9% of all problems. If your computer is connected and turned on, your problems could multiply. A good hacker could attack your system and possibly steal valuable information. The modem is a substantial firewall and you defeat some of the security by leaving it open anyone. Downgrading a modem to wireless B will work to balance out bandwidth, but it will slow performance for all the guests. Things will not download as fast, so guests will have to wait longer for things like photos and videos to download. Since files cannot download as fast on "B" overall traffic on the network my actually increase since guests would be unable to download wanted files as quickly and then get off the network. It is my experience that on big files, many people just start the download and then walk away. I really like your other suggestion of just asking the guests to monitor and limit their high bandwidth traffic. I just hope it is not like asking a leopard to change his spots.



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Don
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lbacon
post Oct 7 2008, 12:09 PM
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We believe that wifi should be FREE. We also are doing something about it...

We use the Sprint Novatel S720 broadband card (EVDO) and a Linksys wrt54g3g-st wireless mobile router since we have 2 notebook PC's that need access the Internet. The Sprint service is $59.95 per month for all you do. There are no limits to bandwidth or any extra fees. The Sprint service has worked pretty much wherever we have been and at download speeds of up to 1.6mbps. We are currently in the Corpus Christie area and have a connection of 1.25mbps.

We also have a 2nd Linksys wrt54g wireless router that we have set up (connected by wire/cable to the the broadband router) with an external 6db gain antenna (attached to the RV ladder) and the Sveasoft Hotspot firmware (http://www.sveasoft.com). We provide all of our neighbors in the park with FREE wireless connections. If you are in a park and see a wireless connection listed as "rvpctronics.com", connect to it... it's us... and it's free.

Some of the parks that charge for it don't like our free site, but we really don't care.
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Florida Native
post Oct 7 2008, 03:15 PM
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QUOTE
with an external 6db gain antenna (attached to the RV ladder)


How do you handle getting the cable from the external antenna into the coach. I run it through the window and put a little stick to prevent it from crimping the cord, but am not satisfied with this system. My antenna has a 20 foot cord and then I use an extension USB cable. The connection is not water proof. I have bee consider ring other possibilities but havenít come up with a good system yet. I am sold on having a good external antenna

QUOTE
If you are in a park and see a wireless connection listed as "rvpctronics.com", connect to it... it's us... and it's free.


You might consider using a name that it would be more condusive to having people know itís free. I laugh at some of the networks that have names like ďDonít even think about hooking on.Ē as an example. The reverse would sure work. I have hooked up to a network entitled ďFree Public WiFií.


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Parkview
post Oct 8 2008, 05:57 PM
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QUOTE(lbacon @ Oct 7 2008, 01:09 PM) *

We believe that wifi should be FREE. We also are doing something about it...

We use the Sprint Novatel S720 broadband card (EVDO) and a Linksys wrt54g3g-st wireless mobile router since we have 2 notebook PC's that need access the Internet. The Sprint service is $59.95 per month for all you do.


biggrin.gif

Hi again all:

I just can't quite wrap my arms around how the above $59.95/mo. is considered free, but a park offering wifi from DSL with a very strong signal and 24 hr. tech support for $21.00/mo. can be considered a ripoff.

For those of you that have read my previous postings on this subject, our rural phone coop has finally provided us with DSL service and I no longer have to rely on satellite for our inernet signal. Anyone out there need a couple of satellite dishes with internet modems?

Have a good day!

Doug
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DXSMac
post Oct 8 2008, 07:03 PM
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QUOTE(lbacon @ Oct 7 2008, 11:09 AM) *

We believe that wifi should be FREE. We also are doing something about it...

We use the Sprint Novatel S720 broadband card (EVDO) and a Linksys wrt54g3g-st wireless mobile router since we have 2 notebook PC's that need access the Internet. The Sprint service is $59.95 per month for all you do. There are no limits to bandwidth or any extra fees. The Sprint service has worked pretty much wherever we have been and at download speeds of up to 1.6mbps. We are currently in the Corpus Christie area and have a connection of 1.25mbps.

We also have a 2nd Linksys wrt54g wireless router that we have set up (connected by wire/cable to the the broadband router) with an external 6db gain antenna (attached to the RV ladder) and the Sveasoft Hotspot firmware (http://www.sveasoft.com). We provide all of our neighbors in the park with FREE wireless connections. If you are in a park and see a wireless connection listed as "rvpctronics.com", connect to it... it's us... and it's free.

Some of the parks that charge for it don't like our free site, but we really don't care.


Um, are you an RV'er or a park owner? Your post sounds like you are a park owner. I stayed at a park where they didn't have it "locked down" and they didn't care if someone sat in the restaurant parking lot next door and used it. Well, when you do this, then too many people get on and the customers can't use it. One park I stay at frequently found this out, and "locked down" their wireless with a password. It's free, but password and only customers of the park get the password. It was a significant improvement in their wireless when they did that!

JJ


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pianotuna
post Oct 21 2008, 10:04 PM
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Hi JJ,

They are just campers with an unlimited air card connected to a wifi router. Only their immediate neighbors would be able to connect. This will limit bandwidth--but sure would be better than no internet connection.


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Don
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Spinsister1
post Oct 22 2008, 11:05 AM
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Sprint does not offer an UNLIMITED Bandwidth product. I don't know of any ISP that does really. They offer ONE plan. Taken from Sprint website:

This plan includes Internet access on the largest national Mobile Broadband network. (based on covered sq. miles) 5 GB/mo. in total or 300 MB/mo. while off-network roaming. (1024 kb=1MB. 1024 MB=1 GB) International data roaming may incur additional charges. Sprint reserves the right to limit throughput speeds or amount of data transferred.


*It may just seem unlimited for them for they may not use 5GB per month with average use.

I'm still with the folks that say there is a cost to offer wireless internet to the campers/visitors of a park. Wether you outright charge for it or slip it into the lot fees is totally up to someone. But it does cost the owner alot more than you think.


QUOTE(pianotuna @ Oct 21 2008, 11:04 PM) *

There are no limits to bandwidth or any extra fees. The Sprint service has worked pretty much wherever we have been and at download speeds of up to 1.6mbps.

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DXSMac
post Oct 22 2008, 12:52 PM
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I think, for air cards, Sprint and Verizon are the top two choices (plus others mentioned....), but I hear more good things about Verizon. Haven't heard anything bad about Verizon air card yet.

JJ


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http://rvingtoadless.blogspot.com/

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KevinBurns
post Oct 23 2008, 12:44 AM
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I'm not a park owner, but if I was I would consider it almost a necessity. I do carry a Sprint card for work, in case I can't get a wifi signal. I'm new to this and have only stayed at six parks so far. The wifi has varied a lot, from "resembles dialup" to wifi that was plenty fast to none at all. It is a perk that I notice, and I really don't mind if it adds a bit to the cost of my stay whether it's an add on to the price or buried in the price. Let's face it, the cost of the parks we stay in is a minor percentage compared to the costs of owning an RV.
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Florida Native
post Oct 23 2008, 01:36 PM
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We are sitting right now in a very nice water front county park (Fort Desota park in St. Pete Beach, Florida) that doesn't have WiFi at the sites, but does have WiFi at the ranger station. My superduper antenna would not pick it up at the site, so I had to sit in the car with the inverter at the office. Having WiFi is almost a necissitty for me now.


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Veebyes
post Oct 23 2008, 09:57 PM
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I do not have access to the internet through Verizon or a similar which requires at least a years contract & needs you to have a SSN. Not being US citizens I am one of a growing number who own a RV in the US, spend less than 6 months a year traveling, & rely heavily on the internet to maintain contact with home & to plan our trips as we go. WIFI availability is often a deciding factor in choice of CG.These days WIFI is almost as expected, at no extra charge, as a phone & internet access is in a hotel.

I don't mind the price being buried in the base rate. Having it as an add on is an irritation. Finding out that WIFI does not work, usually with the excuse of "Oh, it just quit yesterday", is unacceptable.
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pianotuna
post Oct 23 2008, 10:17 PM
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Hi Spinsister1,

Sasktel does offer unlimited data on cell modems for $75.00 per month. Roaming is allowed in Canada. The catch is USA--where the fee becomes a whopping $3.00 per meg.

I just got my cell modem 50 hours ago. I'm using it as I drive for streaming audio--and for email and all my usual tasks. It does drop down to 1xrtt in most of Saskatchewan--but it is so far very reliable. (and yes I signed up for 3 years!)

I maintain that the cost of Wi-Fi in campgrounds is one of the lower costs to the owner--compared to many other items. They probably spend more on the pool (if they have one) than they do on Wi-Fi.

I posted earlier about this and listed various items. No park owner replied.

QUOTE(Spinsister1 @ Oct 22 2008, 11:05 AM) *

Sprint does not offer an UNLIMITED Bandwidth product. I don't know of any ISP that does really. They offer ONE plan. Taken from Sprint website:

This plan includes Internet access on the largest national Mobile Broadband network. (based on covered sq. miles) 5 GB/mo. in total or 300 MB/mo. while off-network roaming. (1024 kb=1MB. 1024 MB=1 GB) International data roaming may incur additional charges. Sprint reserves the right to limit throughput speeds or amount of data transferred.
*It may just seem unlimited for them for they may not use 5GB per month with average use.

I'm still with the folks that say there is a cost to offer wireless internet to the campers/visitors of a park. Wether you outright charge for it or slip it into the lot fees is totally up to someone. But it does cost the owner alot more than you think.



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Don
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drmcleod
post Nov 24 2008, 12:46 PM
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QUOTE(lbacon @ Oct 7 2008, 02:09 PM) *


We use the Sprint Novatel S720 broadband card (EVDO) and a Linksys wrt54g3g-st wireless mobile router since we have 2 notebook PC's that need access the Internet.


As posted earlier, I use the Verizon Network. I pay $45/mo for unlimited usage. The drawback for me is that the connection is software based which means I have to have an application loaded on my computer to connect. I can therefor, only use one computer per connection. Does anyone use Verizon and a wireless mobile router like the one mentioned in the above quote? That router is for Sprint only. Any suggestions would be great and I would DEFINITELY allow my fellow neighboring campers to access my connection. Wouldn't cost me any more.


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