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Galli
QUOTE(Just Jack @ Aug 30 2008, 01:24 PM) *

I am a owner of a RV park and have read through most of the postings in this forum. I have considered free wifi. I think there are more factors involved. One of the main factors is location of the park, is it a remote location where satillites are required to receive a signal or is where a DSL or cable line available to the property. We have to use satillites which is very expensive therefore we charge for wifi. Guests need to consider this before demanding free services.
A couple of posting here come to mind. Is if fair to have free wifi and charge the same space rent to the person who doesn't use it or do I give that person a discount. I say no. If a park offers options when you arrive pick the ones you want to pay for them. If they charge for cable and you have a satillite do you need the cable, no, so you don't pay for it. If you have you own internet satallite do you want wifi, no. Pick the from the options offered and pay for them. One posting said they were at a park that had free wifi and the park had $50 router off of a computer in the back room that worked perfect. Is that a secure conection?
Another issue is most RV'ers traveling more than a week a year have a pocket full of discount cards. Good Sam to Passport America, AAA, etc. all wanting a better rate and full survices included. So everyone throw away your discount cards and pay the published rate and I will give you free wifi.

I read your comment with respect to WIFI, paying for this service or be part of the camping rate, well, I might be crucified by the other campers but I consider WIFI as additional service and d because not every one wants it, it should be considered as separate charge, therefore, the basic rate should be lower; what really upsets me is when the camp owner advertises Internet and/or cable and/or etc.. and then the service is not there or yes there is the system installed but it doesn't works or works poorly.
I am a Canadian snow bird that spends 4 winter months in Florida and we had internet problem all the time, the corporation is advertising the internet facility, we pay for it and didn’t work most of the time.
If I may provide you with a suggestion from a consumer part, be honest with the RVers, do not pretend to provide what actually is not available and if you provide extra service, charge for it .
If I may add and RV resort should provide, as part of the cost, clean washroom and shower and lots levelled.
Lindsay Richards
I always shower in my coach. By your thinking, I should be getting a discount.
Majordel
QUOTE(Just Jack @ Aug 30 2008, 02:24 PM) *

I am a owner of a RV park and have read through most of the postings in this forum. I have considered free wifi. I think there are more factors involved. One of the main factors is location of the park, is it a remote location where satillites are required to receive a signal or is where a DSL or cable line available to the property. We have to use satillites which is very expensive therefore we charge for wifi. Guests need to consider this before demanding free services.
A couple of posting here come to mind. Is if fair to have free wifi and charge the same space rent to the person who doesn't use it or do I give that person a discount. I say no. If a park offers options when you arrive pick the ones you want to pay for them. If they charge for cable and you have a satillite do you need the cable, no, so you don't pay for it. If you have you own internet satallite do you want wifi, no. Pick the from the options offered and pay for them. One posting said they were at a park that had free wifi and the park had $50 router off of a computer in the back room that worked perfect. Is that a secure conection?
Another issue is most RV'ers traveling more than a week a year have a pocket full of discount cards. Good Sam to Passport America, AAA, etc. all wanting a better rate and full survices included. So everyone throw away your discount cards and pay the published rate and I will give you free wifi.


I traveled extensively for work and am now retired with plans to continue traveling in my new RV. I have stayed in many hotels of various brands and know that the best have free internet and other benefits. Of course you pay for the "quality" hotels even if you do not use the internet, pool, or have the free breakfast. So you decide, do you want to be the Motel Six or an Embassy Suites RV style park? Also, just a thought, do you charge extra for the pool or the laundry or cable (if you have these things)?

I also noted that you did not identify your RV Park, which is wise, since all those RVers with pockets full of discount cards (and money) are potential customers and that is your business, attracting customers and offering a good service/experience for a fair price. Obviously if you can't afford to install internet at your park, don't do it, just provide good customer service and not post statements that could cost you the patronage of those RVers with pockets full of discount cards.
Texasrvers
I was just wondering if you all realize that you are responding to a post that was written in 2008.
HappiestCamper
QUOTE(Majordel @ Apr 21 2014, 03:44 PM) *
I also noted that you did not identify your RV Park, which is wise


Owner are not allowed to identify their parks in a post.
Galli
QUOTE(Majordel @ Apr 21 2014, 12:44 PM) *

I traveled extensively for work and am now retired with plans to continue traveling in my new RV. I have stayed in many hotels of various brands and know that the best have free internet and other benefits. Of course you pay for the "quality" hotels even if you do not use the internet, pool, or have the free breakfast. So you decide, do you want to be the Motel Six or an Embassy Suites RV style park? Also, just a thought, do you charge extra for the pool or the laundry or cable (if you have these things)?

I also noted that you did not identify your RV Park, which is wise, since all those RVers with pockets full of discount cards (and money) are potential customers and that is your business, attracting customers and offering a good service/experience for a fair price. Obviously if you can't afford to install internet at your park, don't do it, just provide good customer service and not post statements that could cost you the patronage of those RVers with pockets full of discount cards.

am still of the opinion that , like the hotels, the RV resorts should have different prices according to the facilities.
I agree with you in that, if there a swimming pool or SPA or tennis court or etc.., this will put the resort on a higher brackets, therefore, higher basic price, however, telephone, c\able,internet, I still consider them optional, mind you, I would not do without them but this is my decision and honestly, I cannot pretend that all campers should share the cost of it.
You mention the washroom and shower, well those are part of the facility, like the toilette' paper or dryer and are part of having an RV Camp.
What upset me the most are the advertising of some facility there which is not existing like internet that doesn't work or cable foggy or other facilities advertised to attract campers and , once there are not available or marginally available
Majordel
QUOTE(HappiestCamper @ Apr 22 2014, 07:18 AM) *

Owner are not allowed to identify their parks in a post.


Did not know, my apologies for my previous statement.
Majordel
QUOTE(Texasrvers @ Apr 22 2014, 01:25 AM) *

I was just wondering if you all realize that you are responding to a post that was written in 2008.


I have a lot of catching up to do....... rolleyes.gif
Texasrvers
It's certainly OK to reply to an old post; I just didn't know if you were expecting answers form the original poster.
hypogi
As an owner and a member of an owners association I can tell you that there is no such thing as free wifi/cable/anything. If a campground offers something as "free" it just means that they bumped the base price enough to cover the cost of the new ammenitiy. This is absolutly necessary if you want to stay in business. I think most campers understand that things like wifi cost money to an owner and in order to stay in business you have to charge for it somewhere, you cant give it away and stay viable.

The flip side of this is if you only charge the people who want it everyone complains about being "nickled and dimed". You also can't count on people to be honest about which services they are using. We used to have a seperate rate for 50 amp and 30 amp sites with a little lock on the 50 amp breaker. People would insist that they were only using 30 amps but after they left the little wire locks were busted to pieces. We also used to have the honor system with cable. Everyone insisted that they were using there satillite but you could walk around the park and see everyone hooked up regardless of whether they paid or not.

Now our prices are 5 dollars more a night but all of our services are "free". Our campers are happier because they feel like they are getting a deal and we are happier because we don't constantly feel that we are being lied to and being taken advantage of. Plus it's a lot fewer things that we have to police.

Same thing can be said for items like swimming pools and stocked fishing ponds. Those things are expensive to maintain and if you tried to charge people to go swimming they would lose thier minds. But if the park became a dollar more expensive for everyone it covers the cost of the pool and most people wont complain about a dollar increase.
AFChap
QUOTE(hypogi @ Apr 27 2014, 05:21 PM) *

Now our prices are 5 dollars more a night but all of our services are "free".
Exactly why we try to avoid RV parks w/pools and other " features" we don't use and have no interest in paying for. And it has been rare in our experience to find campground WiFi that works well, if at all. I would prefer they just quit providing WiFi since it rarely works and I know we are paying for it anyway. We do hook up to "free" cable once in a great while just because it is a convenient way to get local stations, but would prefer not to pay for it just get locals on our batwing antenna.
docj
QUOTE(AFChap @ Apr 27 2014, 11:41 PM) *

Exactly why we try to avoid RV parks w/pools and other " features" we don't use and have no interest in paying for.


I wish more RV Park owners would recognize that there is a class of RVers who like to stay at attractive parks but who don't care to use any of their facilities. We don't use your bathrooms, showers, laundry rooms or cable TV ever and we rarely bother with swimming pools or hot tubs and wouldn't care if you had them or not. We do carry our own high speed internet connection, but if you had something really exotic like fiber we would definitely try it.

Quite a few of our friends with self-contained RVs have similar views and we have stayed at a number of very nice parks that offered us nothing but good utility hookups and a nice view at a fair price. There's nothing wrong with offering family-friendly RV parks with all the amenities, but maybe come creative owners will realize there's another market that could be addressed with a different approach.
hypogi
I completely understand why you would choose a park without these amenities if you have no interest in using them. If we are traveling somewhere and looking to stay in a hotel and I have an option of $100 Ritz-Carlton that has a pool, a gym, continental breakfast, etc. or a $50 Best Western that has none of these things I would pick the less expensive one. Particularly if I wasn't planning on using the amenities. It doesn't mean that the pricier hotel is bad, or that the cheaper one is better, it just means that the two are catering to different travelers.

On a personal note, I wish that we could get rid of the wifi. We have spent a lot of money on our wifi system but there are so many things that cause it to get slow or crash that are completely out of my control. Weather, terrain, power surges, the amount of people using it at once, as well the individual computer's age and the operators understanding how to use their computer. This is in no way an accusation toward you. But we see a lot of people who have wifi issues everywhere they go and when we try to help we find that the computer is 5 years old or older (which makes it a dinosaur in computer terms) or so bogged down with toolbars and unnecessary software that they couldn't get wifi if they were sitting on the antenna. As a rule of thumb, if someone tells me that they have cable/wifi issues at every park they stop at it typically is something the camper isn't doing correctly and not the campground.

It is a matter of looking at the common factors in these cases. What is more likely, that EVERY campground has crumby wifi or that the people trying to connect are doing something incorrectly? Again not an accusation, I know that there are a lot of campgrounds trying to get by with TANGO wifi, which is worthless, but there are also a lot of people who have never learned how to use their computers.
Lindsay Richards
The best thing a frequent RIVER can have is an USB omnidirectional antenna. It cures most WiFi reception problems.
AFChap
QUOTE(hypogi @ Apr 28 2014, 01:09 PM) *

It is a matter of looking at the common factors in these cases.
Exactly. And for me the common factor is rv park wifi. I have no problems with wifi in homes, motels, offices, etc on phone, laptop or tablet ...just in probably 80-90% of the rv parks we stay in. I rarely try any more ...and will never pay extra for it because even then it rarely works well .. prefering to use my own cell phone hotspot which virtually always works well.

Like you, I think rv parks should just quit trying to provide wifi. Between the large area most parks have to cover, and rv'ers who think nothing of trying to stream movies etc via wifi, it is pretty much a lost cause.
docj
QUOTE(hypogi @ Apr 28 2014, 02:09 PM) *



It is a matter of looking at the common factors in these cases. What is more likely, that EVERY campground has crumby wifi or that the people trying to connect are doing something incorrectly? Again not an accusation, I know that there are a lot of campgrounds trying to get by with TANGO wifi, which is worthless, but there are also a lot of people who have never learned how to use their computers.


I always get my hackles up when a merchant takes a "blame the customer" approach. I know you weren't accusing me personally, but I can speak knowledgeably since I work for a company that makes amplifier/routers for RVers and also provides much of the "back haul" WiFi hardware for RV parks.

After many, many tests, I am convinced that in most cases the problem is, indeed, the park WiFi. Computers can be outdated and slow, but running Speedtest.net from a browser to check network speeds doesn't require a particularly modern device.

The park we winter at is a good example of one that has invested in ~6 Wifi access points each being fed by a cable modem. That results in morning speeds of >4-5Mbs but by evening the speed is down to ~300-400 kpbs due to higher usage and because the cable system itself experiences slowdowns due to more customer usage, both TV and internet. Obviously, the answer is to invest in even more access points, but I don't know how many the park can afford for a free wifi. OTOH I'd be fine if they ditched their cable TV system entirely, although not everyone would be happy with that.

As for your slam at Tengonet, I'm sure you know that they specialize in wifi system design. The RV park owner has the final decision as to how much he is willing t pay to access the internet. The best wifi distribution system in the world won't work well if it's being fed by too small a pipe!
Galli
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?

I have to be honest, I don't agree for a free internet because the cost is going to be shared by every body.
Mind you, I am an internet user and when I find a camp with free internet, I choose it but, honestly it is not fair that every one should share the cost.
You are mentioning that McDonald and other facilities are offering free internet, well, I am sure that it is not a God given present and theoretically it has been added to the product, you don't see it but it is there.
In order to add to your stats, I shall vote for the, the resort should provide this service at a moderate fee
Eric P
I dont like the fact that an outside vendor is handling the internet access at most parks, but lets be honest, the rates for everyone will have to be raised to support an IT team to handle the infrastructure and keep the system up and running. Sure, maybe its only and extra 2 bucks a day for most of us, but what about that person who is staying for the month? Two bucks adds u. Especially if you aren't using the service.

Pay as you go.
docj
Personally, I think that most RV park owners approach the WiFi issue with a small business mindset and always think of it as a "cost" rather than as a potential "profit center". I think park owners fail to realize that people would pay good money to be guaranteed a decent internet connection. Even though most smart phones can be used as wifi hotspots the typical cellular customer doesn't pay for a data plan to support any significant amount of steaming. Paying to use an RV parks's internet may be less expensive than paying for overages on a data plan.

There's no reason why a park can't setup free, bandwidth-restricted internet service for its customers while at the same time providing a limited number of high speed internet connections that are not subject to restriction (or with a limit high enough to provide high quality streaming). The high speed connections would have their own passwords and the park would sell time on them to customers who wanted to stream movies, etc. Time could be sold by the day or by the hour.

A park could start with a modest number of high speed "channels" and could experiment to figure out what the appropriate pricing needs to be to ensure a profit. For a park that stays reasonably full during the summer season there almost assuredly will be a price at which the channels get used most of the time. As long as that price is high enough to cover cost and make a profit then there should be little risk. In the off season the service could be curtailed or turned off entirely.
kcmoedoe
QUOTE(docj @ Apr 30 2014, 01:32 PM) *

Personally, I think that most RV park owners approach the WiFi issue with a small business mindset and always think of it as a "cost" rather than as a potential "profit center". I think park owners fail to realize that people would pay good money to be guaranteed a decent internet connection. Even though most smart phones can be used as wifi hotspots the typical cellular customer doesn't pay for a data plan to support any significant amount of steaming. Paying to use an RV parks's internet may be less expensive than paying for overages on a data plan.

There's no reason why a park can't setup free, bandwidth-restricted internet service for its customers while at the same time providing a limited number of high speed internet connections that are not subject to restriction (or with a limit high enough to provide high quality streaming). The high speed connections would have their own passwords and the park would sell time on them to customers who wanted to stream movies, etc. Time could be sold by the day or by the hour.

A park could start with a modest number of high speed "channels" and could experiment to figure out what the appropriate pricing needs to be to ensure a profit. For a park that stays reasonably full during the summer season there almost assuredly will be a price at which the channels get used most of the time. As long as that price is high enough to cover cost and make a profit then there should be little risk. In the off season the service could be curtailed or turned off entirely.
The problems with that approach would be the guests who use the free service would immediately think that the park was purposely degrading that service to force them to pay to use the better wifi. Those that chose the pay wifi would probably have expectations that couldn't be met by most parks, things like 300 MBS like you get with a private cable connection. No way a wireless system could deliver those speeds across a park. You would still have problems with connections due to the variances with individual computer's radios and the ever changing topography due to rigs coming and going.
Finally, who would actually believe a park that advertised that it had great wifi? It has been a product that has been over promised and uder delivered for so long that people would just think the promise of great wifi was a marketing scam. I seriously doubt that advertising great wifi would bring in very many more people. They just wouldn't buy the advertising.
docj
If the low-speed free service didn't work out then the answer to that would be to eliminate it.

As for whether or not the high speed service would be attractive, I think the only way to find out would be to try it. If you are a park owner who has already made the investment in a WiFi system and is getting beaten up over its poor performance then this "pay to play" approach could be something to try before you eliminate it totally.

I do know of parks that have re-allocated their spending and have taken the money they used to spend on cable TV and have switched it to paying for their internet service. So many things can be streamed now and so many people are becoming knowledgeable on how to do it, that eliminating TV hasn't been such a big deal.

One advantage to the customer is that instead of having to put up with basic cable which is all that most parks offer, customers can, for example, access HBO Go or Showtime on Demand if they happen to pay for these channels at home. They are no longer dependent on the park for their video content.
hypogi
All of these posts are really on point. I feel like we are all having the same conversation just in a different language. I try not to take a "blame the customer" approach to anything but sometimes it is the customers fault. It's also not fair to take a "blame the merchant" approach to everything either.

I feel your frustration as a camper when a place offers wifi and fails to provide it. I've been to more parks that have this issue than ones that provide really excellent wifi. For many owners putting up a single Netgear box in the office is enough for them to justify the claim that they have wifi. It's misleading and unfortunate because it make the other campgrounds that really try to provide full coverage look bad as well.

Furthermore, comparing it to McDonalds wifi is completely unfair for a lot of reasons. McD's only has to provide wifi to a single building, a couple hundred square feet at most. A campground has to try and cover acres and acres of space across hilly and wooded terrain. It's a completely different set of challenges.

What I think most people fail to recognize is that wifi is a two way signal. I could have the biggest amplifier allowed by law but if the receiving computer can't transmit back to the access point it wont make a bit of difference.

We do view the wifi as a profit generating amenity. We just choose not to bill for it individually. It's wrapped up in the cost of the night stay, same as cable, electric, water, et cetera. We tried charging for wifi before and it just seemed to cause more problems than it solved. Campers are happier with free wifi. I really like the idea of being able to provide tiered service where the basic wifi is free but higher speed internet can be purchased. I'm just not sure of the logistics of doing something like that. I don't think you can guarantee a faster connection, and if you are charging for it you had better be able to provide it. If you get one joker out in your park playing video poker or a couple people streaming netflix they can bring your whole system to a crawl. I suppose if you had somebody to monitor usage full time you could do it but it just doesn't seem practical to me. Perhaps I'm wrong on this, I'm only speculating.
dalsgal
QUOTE(hypogi @ May 2 2014, 11:18 AM) *



Furthermore, comparing it to McDonalds wifi is completely unfair for a lot of reasons. McD's only has to provide wifi to a single building, a couple hundred square feet at most. A campground has to try and cover acres and acres of space across hilly and wooded terrain. It's a completely different set of challenges.



We do view the wifi as a profit generating amenity. We just choose not to bill for it individually. It's wrapped up in the cost of the night stay, same as cable, electric, water, et cetera. We tried charging for wifi before and it just seemed to cause more problems than it solved. Campers are happier with free wifi. I really like the idea of being able to provide tiered service where the basic wifi is free but higher speed internet can be purchased. I'm just not sure of the logistics of doing something like that. I don't think you can guarantee a faster connection, and if you are charging for it you had better be able to provide it. If you get one joker out in your park playing video poker or a couple people streaming netflix they can bring your whole system to a crawl. I suppose if you had somebody to monitor usage full time you could do it but it just doesn't seem practical to me. Perhaps I'm wrong on this, I'm only speculating.


Another thing that causes a problem with WiFi many times is the RV itself. Recently we had a man living her that got great WiFi reception for months. Then he bought a new RV and could barely connect at all and was in the exact same spot. We also have families come in with several kids and they all have their computers/tablets and each one wants to download a different movie or game at the same time. There are so many variables that can affect service. Generally we have no problem with anyone getting online and having a great, and fast, connection. We do have a good many people that work in the area so they live in their RV's and some of them must connect with their jobs by the internet. For most of those relying on their cell phone for internet does not work. We provide, at no cost to anyone, the internet service. There is no cost added to the fees because the campground itself gets it free in exchange for a company putting their tower in the corner of our property.
taylorbanks
QUOTE(docj @ Apr 30 2014, 12:32 PM) *

Personally, I think that most RV park owners approach the WiFi issue with a small business mindset and always think of it as a "cost" rather than as a potential "profit center". I think park owners fail to realize that people would pay good money to be guaranteed a decent internet connection. Even though most smart phones can be used as wifi hotspots the typical cellular customer doesn't pay for a data plan to support any significant amount of steaming. Paying to use an RV parks's internet may be less expensive than paying for overages on a data plan.


I think you're absolutely right. I also think it might be prudent to educate park owners about how much additional business they might earn by procuring (and offering) better internet access. For my wife and I, who depend on good internet access to be able to work, the combination of decent (or better) WiFi and good (or better) 4G signal availability is a bit of a necessity if we want to stay for more than just a day or two.

For us, we'll gladly pick a lesser park with better wifi, even if it means paying for access, though we specifically seek out parks with good free intenet whenever possible.

QUOTE
There's no reason why a park can't setup free, bandwidth-restricted internet service for its customers while at the same time providing a limited number of high speed internet connections that are not subject to restriction (or with a limit high enough to provide high quality streaming). The high speed connections would have their own passwords and the park would sell time on them to customers who wanted to stream movies, etc. Time could be sold by the day or by the hour.


Agreed.

I'm working on putting together a free resource for park owners that addresses many of these concerns and provides hard data to help them understand the risks and benefits. Ultimately, as with hotels, I think RV park owners will arrive at the conclusion that providing good internet access will earn them significantly more business, with minimal additional overhead.

It's also reasonably easy for park owners to throttle certain types of traffic (streaming audio and video), and cache other types of traffic, resulting in excellent performance for general use while simultaneously preventing rampant abuse by visitors who don't understand how or when to limit their own usage.
Kawhiacamp
QUOTE(taylorbanks @ May 6 2014, 12:19 PM) *

It's also reasonably easy for park owners to throttle certain types of traffic (streaming audio and video), and cache other types of traffic, resulting in excellent performance for general use while simultaneously preventing rampant abuse by visitors who don't understand how or when to limit their own usage.

I brought a camping ground 8 months ago and have been playing around trying to find the best balance between customer service and business profitability with wifi. I didn't want to charge for wifi unless I absolutely had to so when I first arrived I simply opened up the wifi with no restrictions. This was great for the guests but here in New Zealand we have to purchase data plans for a set amount per month (60GB in my case), if we go over we get charged a considerable amount per GB. After a few kids over the holiday period were averaging a usage of 4GB per day I was forced to place restrictions.

My solutions was to use a free / low cost service www.hotspotsystem.com which enabled me to offer free wifi to guests that is restricted to a certain amount of data per period. If they want more then they have the capability of purchasing more online. I don't restrict speed since being rural speed here is dismal anyway. The cost to the camp is nil unless they choose to purchase wherein I get 70% of the amount. I found that 100MB per 24hrs in the holiday period and 200MB in the off season has worked well as this allows for general email and browsing including up to an hour of video Skype calls. 3rd party systems like HotSpot (there are others out there) allow the control of wifi to be easily set up, flexible to the camps needs (ability to offer free wifi etc), have simple international payment options and keep good records and analysis of individual and total usage.
docj
Thanks for sharing that link. I realize it's of no use in the US, but it appears to be exactly the sort of systems approach that I had been advocating. I like the idea of cost-sharing the profits as a way of keeping basic installation and operating costs low. Now all we need is for someone in the US to be creative enough to implement something similar.

QUOTE
I really like the idea of being able to provide tiered service where the basic wifi is free but higher speed internet can be purchased. I'm just not sure of the logistics of doing something like that. I don't think you can guarantee a faster connection, and if you are charging for it you had better be able to provide it. If you get one joker out in your park playing video poker or a couple people streaming netflix they can bring your whole system to a crawl. I suppose if you had somebody to monitor usage full time you could do it but it just doesn't seem practical to me. Perhaps I'm wrong on this, I'm only speculating.


Using a "total solution" like this should go a long way to meeting the concerns expressed above. The software will control each customer's usage so one individual can't ruin it for everyone. In addition if the park implements its internet through a guaranteed connection such as a T3 line then there would be far less risk that the internet connection won't deliver the promised speed.
Dutch_12078
A dedicated T-3 line is only 50Mb, and can cost $4,000 to as much as $16,000 per month. I recently worked on an OC-3 fiber installation (155Mb) for a business that's paying $38,000 per month for a Tier 1 connection.
Kawhiacamp
QUOTE(docj @ May 7 2014, 01:57 AM) *

Thanks for sharing that link. I realize it's of no use in the US, but it appears to be exactly the sort of systems approach that I had been advocating. I like the idea of cost-sharing the profits as a way of keeping basic installation and operating costs low. Now all we need is for someone in the US to be creative enough to implement something similar.


HotSpot Systems can be used internationally. In fact 1665 enterprises including camping grounds in America already do. The company itself is based in Hungary. There are others around as well that I had a quick look at but they all either had a cost attached that I was unwilling to pay or were not as flexible (i.e. the use of vouchers only for free wifi).

The solutions are out there but I think a lot of CG's think that if they can make money from charging for wifi they will without taking into the account the marketing aspect of free wifi (it is a large draw card for my camp). Also if they get a third party to set up the hardware then the installer would most likely use their own system or the software company they have an agreement with and these are likely to be restricted to charged wifi only.

hypogi
QUOTE(docj @ May 6 2014, 09:57 AM) *

Thanks for sharing that link. I realize it's of no use in the US, but it appears to be exactly the sort of systems approach that I had been advocating. I like the idea of cost-sharing the profits as a way of keeping basic installation and operating costs low. Now all we need is for someone in the US to be creative enough to implement something similar.
Using a "total solution" like this should go a long way to meeting the concerns expressed above. The software will control each customer's usage so one individual can't ruin it for everyone. In addition if the park implements its internet through a guaranteed connection such as a T3 line then there would be far less risk that the internet connection won't deliver the promised speed.


One thing that you might be overlooking here is the location of many campgrounds. A lot of us are out in rural areas. Our only internet option for a long time was Hughes.net. Which if you have never used, let me tell you, it's terrible. We were better off with NO internet than we were with Hughesnet. so the idea of getting a T3 line at our location is pretty unrealistic. Heck, we can't even get cable TV delivered out here let alone a T3 line.
taylorbanks
QUOTE(Kawhiacamp @ May 6 2014, 03:05 PM) *

HotSpot Systems can be used internationally. In fact 1665 enterprises including camping grounds in America already do. The company itself is based in Hungary. There are others around as well that I had a quick look at but they all either had a cost attached that I was unwilling to pay or were not as flexible (i.e. the use of vouchers only for free wifi).


A few other great free or low-cost options for CG's that want to DIY (or hire a consultant to implement on low-cost hardware):

http://www.hotspotpa.com/
http://dev.wifidog.org/wiki/Features
http://www.packetfence.org/
http://www.facebookwifi.me.uk/

QUOTE
The solutions are out there but I think a lot of CG's think that if they can make money from charging for wifi they will without taking into the account the marketing aspect of free wifi (it is a large draw card for my camp).


I absolutely agree. I think many CG owners take for granted just how much more business they might see if they have good free wifi (and get campers talking about it on review sites and forums like this one). I think one of the best things CG owners can do is to ask happy campers to spread the word!

For example, explicitly telling campers the following would probably go a long way:

"We worked hard and spent a lot of money to ensure the best internet connectivity at our park, and it will really help us out if you can spread the word! If you have just a moment, please post about our great wifi on Facebook and sites like rvparkreviews.com! Thanks!"

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.

Of course, for CG owners in rural areas, the cost of connectivity may truly be prohibitive. However, for those who are willing to invest in connectivity, hopefully one or more of the above resources may help justify the upfront costs.
docj
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.
BoomerNY
(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.
cmesker
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.
sammytoo1950
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.
kcmoedoe
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.
TranQuilguy
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
Camping Mer
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.
kcmoedoe
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.
docj
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.
LM&TinView
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.

Lee
docj
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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