I am heading back to Amsterdam from Boston after the Muniwireless New England conference. After two days of discussions about the quality of citywide WiFi services, I am confronted with Logan Airport’s absurd WiFi portal (note: Logan wins my vote for worst airport).
When I started my iBook, it detected a WiFi network and asked me “join open WiFi network?”, so I looked on the list and there it was, loganwifi. Except it’s anything but open. You are confronted with a busy web page which is poorly designed, and you have to pay (or be a member of one of their roaming partners — still have to pay).
This is not OPEN. And if I had a Nintendo DS gaming device, I would not have been able to use it. This is exactly what I mean by poor service. It starts already at the login procedure.
Continental Airlines lounge has an open network
By contrast, the Continental Airlines lounge about 50 meters away, has great WiFi service. No login at all. You are on the network right away. Busy people in a hurry don’t have time. You’d think airports would get this, but they don’t. Continental does. At Newark airport, I used the Continental Airlines lounge WiFi and there’s no login procedure either. This is great if you are using a WiFi enabled mobile phone such as the Nokia N80 or the N95.
Read my earlier post on browserless access desperately needed.
UPDATE: Bob Frankston pointed out to me after I wrote this piece that Logan has been battling with the airline lounges that do provide free Wi-Fi. Here’s a piece from the Boston Globe.