Hotspot Billing

Written by Seth Cotterell
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To find out exactly how businesses that offer wireless internet access to customers charge and how they in turn are billed by the provider, I checked the websites of several major providers and spoke with some associates of mine who offer this service to their customers. What I discovered was a more simple and inexpensive set-up than I had originally expected. Here is how it typically works.

Billing the Hotspot

Venues that provide wireless internet to their customers generally have several different plans to choose from. They often charge by the minute for customers who only need a quick look at something online or a fast download. A per hour fee plan is one of the most common. Customers have 60 minutes to check and write emails, research, or chat. These fee plans are most common at restaurants and cafes where customers will not stay long.

At hotels, where users remain much longer, day and month plans are popular. Users can pay by the day or by the month, depending on how long their stay is. This enables users working on major projects over long periods of time to have the connectivity they require to get the job done. Long term hotel guests can stay in touch with the office as well as family and friends while on the road.

Wi-Fi providers are usually quite flexible in their pricing and often structure it based on the size of a company and the expected benefit Wi-Fi will bring to the business. They usually use a recurring billing cycle that charges a major credit or debit card. Many venues are also beginning to offer free access to their customers with an in store purchase. Providers encourage this and are flexible in billing venues that offer free wireless access.

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Fell out of bed feeilng down. This has brightened my day!