Free Wi-Fi Hotspots Now Outnumber Paid in the US

Ryan Whitwam

A new analysis from firm JiWire shows that for the first time, free Wi-Fi hotspots are more plentiful than paid-access hotspots. In total, 55.1% of the hotspots surveyed were free to use. That's a 12.6% gain from last year. It's getting to the point that consumers are more likely to feel affronted when asked to pay for wireless access.

This trend is also taking place worldwide. Seven of the top ten countries for public Wi-Fi added capacity last year. The JiWire data indicates that one in four hotspots around the world is free. With numbers like this, paid models could be in danger. Starbucks recently dropped its semi-paid Wi-Fi system, and Barnes and Noble followed suit shortly thereafter. Do you find you're encountering fewer paid Wi-Fi networks?

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