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Would You Use WiFi with Commercials?

I've always been a free WiFi hunter, but having an iPhone has definitely heightened my hunting instincts. I am constantly seeking signals in cafes, restaurants, and stores and get a sick thrill out of finding one and getting online in unexpected places. Apparently, I'm not alone.

A California company called AnchorFree has launched a service that lets stores of any size (as in small restaurants or major chains) offer free, advertising-supported Wi-Fi to customers on store property.

According to the New York Times, people who are shopping or eating in an AnchorFree location will have to sit through onscreen banner ads or short video spots or both before they can get online and roam the web. So far, companies such as American Express, Circuit City, Clorox, Ford, Kaiser Permanente, McDonald’s, Toyota, and Major League Baseball have all signed up. While I hate commercials, I figure a short video is a small price to pay for being able to get online and check movie listings or Google maps. What do you think?

Join The Conversation
Hi1t3k Hi1t3k 9 years
One hand washes the other, so they say... For this to work, the advertisement revenue has pay for the WiFi costs - the network gear, installation costs, connection to the Internet, equipment upgrades, customer care, network operation centers, repair service, and a small amount of profit for the provider. And now that you don't want to pay for it directly, you also have to involve an advertisement agency, their profit, the ad, the talent.. yada-yada Someone watching these ads has to buy enough product(s) from these ads to cover all of these costs above for his wi-fi use and for all the moochers that don't want to pay for their own way directly. If you think about it, ad-based WiFi has to be more expensive on average for all involved than pay as you go or venue provided (where the venue hires a company to do everything and hides the cost in the product or service they sell). For example, at Panera bread, WiFi is "complementary" to their customers. But they hand the work of running their data services over to a company called Savvis. The costs to pay for Savvis are buried in your bread and latte. There is no FREE lunch. Someone has to pay.
liladdieshudiva liladdieshudiva 9 years
I wouldn't mind an advertisement if I can get free wi-fi use at an establishment. One hand washes the other, so they say.
SugarKat SugarKat 9 years
For free wi-fi I'd watch a 20 blurb about something to try to get me to buy it. I'd prolly go out and buy it too. I'm a sucker like that. But only if the writers get some money from it!
macgirl macgirl 9 years
I don't think I would use it on my iPhone but could suffer through if I was desperate for wifi on my machine. This isn't anything I would do for my home network though, my time is valuable.
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
I don't really need WiFi so right now, i don't really care...
blingbling blingbling 9 years
I use edge if there is only Pay WiFi, but if it were free I'd definitely sit thru commercials. I just ignore them anyway. And lets face it, Edge can be slow sometimes - Wifi is much better. And Edge drains the battery - whereas I sat out at the pool on vacay and used my phone almost the whole day (off and on) with free wifi and it hardly touched my battery level. However I do think that because of the iPhone, free wifi will become more commonplace since the iPhone and future competitors make the internet so much more portable than even a laptop. At least, i hope so. ;-)
sparklestar sparklestar 9 years
YES! I have Edge on my iPhone but seriously now.. who can pick up coverage everywhere? I get Edge coverage in Tesco's on the other side of town but NOWHERE in the city centre. Bizarre much? =)
MandyJoBo MandyJoBo 9 years
No because I'd just use Edge on my iPhone. If I were in a hurry enough to want to find wifi, I definitely wouldn't want to wait for commercials.
stone_soup stone_soup 9 years
If they're non-invasive like those they have before videos, then I guess they should be fine.
calamari calamari 9 years
for free wi-fi. I would absolutely sit through some commercials.
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