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Coffee shops, cafes struggle to provide free Wi-Fi with guidance

Restaurants, cafes and small businesses trying to offer free Wi-Fi to patrons struggle to allow paying customers access, while limiting access to leechers

| Internet & Websites News | Posted: Jul 17, 2014 6:04 pm

Coffee shops, restaurants and other locations invite customers to use Wi-Fi, but many small businesses are struggling to handle some visitors leeching free Web access without being paying customers. It's not uncommon to see visitors purchase one item and occupy a table during peak customer times for long durations without making any additional purchases.

 

TweakTown image news/3/9/39121_01_coffee_shops_cafes_struggle_to_provide_free_wi_fi_with_guidance.jpg

 

Time Warner Cable and other Internet service providers are working with businesses to create methods to ensure customers can access Wi-Fi, but don't try to abuse free Internet access. Many locations still rely on customers to use their best judgment and be courteous to their fellow visitors.

 

"For a large retailer, information is as valuable as anything else," said Thad Nation, Wired Wisconsin Executive Director, in a statement to local media. "Businesses wouldn't offer free Wi-Fi if people didn't spend money there and keep coming back. They make sure you're comfortable and have electrical outlets because a happy customer is a repeat customer."

 

However, McDonald's and other fast food restaurants are deploying free Wi-Fi for patrons - but typically don't have problems with visitors staying an extended period of time while seats run out.

NEWS SOURCESJsonline.com, Media.npr.org

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