Wow…. Hotel Wi-Fi has to be one of the biggest rip-offs ever. At the Tel-Aviv Crowne Plaza, I signed up for a 2 Plus Wi-Fi service, which is a whopping $105 for seven days, and it is not even that reliable. Now I don’t mind paying for broadband access but this is just way too much money. The seven day package is better than $5 for 30 minutes prepaid offering. Anyway, with that out of the way, it is time to resume posting.
The conference is going to take up most of my time today, but tomorrow morning, after plowing through all the email and voice mails, I am going to pen my thoughts about the city, and some of the start-ups I have met so far.
Meanwhile a photo of the Tel-Aviv sunset.
25 thoughts on “So much for a connected planet”
oh yeah. In Israel we’re big on innovation and initiative, but small on the simple notion of adequate service. Some say the sunsets are worth it all.
You’re right but the great thing about TA is that almost all the cafes have free wifi … you’re not very far from some: would be happy to show you round if you mail me
don’t complain, that’s cheap. The cheapest I’ve ever paid for in Australia is around $20 US per day. One hotel I was paying $8/ hour.
Outside the U.S., most hotels charge you an arm and a leg for internet connectivity. So Israel is no different than India, Germany and other places I have been. Other than that, I am sure you will enjoy Israel, with its vibrant hi-tech community and many, many startups.
Actually, in Israel it is much easier to find free hotspots than anywhere in the U.S…. For example at Ben-Gurion airport access is free… Pretty much all the coffee shops provide free service… This includes all the big chains such as Aroma, Arcaffe, Cafe Joe, Max Brenner and more..
Same thing at the Crowne Plaza in Geneva a couple of days ago. And almost ANY hotel I’ve stayed so far (in Europe).
The weirdest thing is that even business lounges at airports don’t have free wifi! Everything else is free, you can drink, eat, take away newsspapers, but no free wifi!!!
That’s funny Om, 99% of the Wifi in Israel are usually open network and free.
I also remember walking on the beach few days ago, and being able to connect to 80% of the hotels Wifi network [with my phone], it might be that you had bad luck with this specific hotel.
Anyway, you can always go to a cafe and connect from there, they are very reliable, a coffee cup cost 2 dollar at most and you can surf the internet.
When I travel in Europe, I sometimes get remarks from the readers of my modest Latvian-language blog (accessible through http://www.nozare.lv) for complaining about high WiFi rates at airports and some hotels. I am glad to see that I am not alone and this is a legitimate complaint.
The sunsets, the food, the women. It is all worth it. Although, I am staying at the Crowns Plaza right now and they haven’t charged me at all. I think they just don’t like you, Om. (jk)
Oh Om, you mean, heaven forbid, San Francisco and Silicon Valley is not the Center of the World?
Oh Gavin Newsom, oh Google free Wifi mesh network this mesh network that.
Google is everything, Google is “god”, Google Google Google you are the world Google. Nothing else exists anywhere on the planet named Earth. Its Google in Silicon Valley or nothing else.
Such a revelation. Om needs to travel and get out of S.F. more often and not just to the East.
Oh Copernicus, where art thou Copernicus?
Welcome to Israel. I know its a short notice but we would love for you to visit our offices in Herzliya while you’re here… Hope you can make it.
Getting a Verizon USB EVDO modem has been the best thing I ever did for my Macbook (no PC card slot). The slower speed more than makes up for having to whip out a credit card and pay $9.95 for twenty minutes of surfing at an airline gate.
Of course, the CDMA wouldn’t have worked for you in Tel Aviv, but there are similar offerings from AT&T and T-Mobile that would.
The hotel is charging what the market will bear. You can’t live without your connection, and they know it. The only option is to bring your connection with you.
It’s time for your nap – you’re getting cranky!!!!
sorry for the inconvenience you are enduring with the wi-fi internet provider.
You are kindly requested to contact me. We’d be glad to provide you, as a once good will gesture, from the hotel’s part, a 24 hours free of charge.
please contact me trough the reception
Om, that reminds me, at Von Europe a couple of weeks ago Hjalmar Winblath of Rebtel quipped that it is cheaper for hotels to provide Wifi than it is to maintain the public bathrooms, but hotels do not charge for bathroom use…
In any case I would like to thank Om for taking part in the Blogference. His presentations were very interesting. If any of you are interested in hearing more about what when on there, you can read a report in my blog.
Yep. It was like that in Thailand, too. Everything dirt cheap and $150 USD for three days of Internet access. Same in Malaysia. And last year I took a Mediterranean cruise. That was $500 for ten days of access. It really makes you mad, doesn’t it…
I saw you yesterday at the cocktail party in TA at ‘Concha’ bar, I didn’t have the chance to meet you (lots of people around you) and present our website. If you have some spare time I would be more than happy to meet you and present our Web2.0 startup.
P.S. Enjoy Israel…
Sorry Om, Fon is not in Israel yet!
In India, all “5-star” hotels charge approximmately Rs. 1000 ($25) per DAY for wifi or wired broadband access. Leela in Bangal;ore charges a little higher ($30/day).
Why is it that the more expensive a hotel, the more likely they are to charge you for Internet Access. In my travels, it has almost always been free in < $150 rooms and almost never been free in > $150 rooms. Similar philosophy to cars, I guess, as often < $20,000 cars have more standard doodads than > $30,000 cars.
Isn’t it a bit obvious why the more expensive the hotel the more expensive the WiFi?? If you are paying $500/night you obviously have enough money to afford $19.95 access vs. paying $79/night.
Starwood Hotels are perfectly tiered in such a manner. Four Points = $9.95, Sheraton = $14.95, Westin = $14.95 and $19.95, Luxury Collection = $24.95 (all prices are what I have roughly found, of course with exceptions).
This one’s for Ami from Crowne Plaza: what about the rest of your customers? Just the ones who run influential technology blogs and post your outrageous prices get the refund? So much for equality.
I’m sorry to be the one to tell you this – You’ve offically been ripped off.
I’m based in Israel and I pay 170 NIS (roughly 40$) for one month of cellular broadband access.
I’m guessing you have a cell phone. If you’d like normally priced cellular access just ask your Israeli roaming provider to rent a cellular modem.
BTW, I’ve been to your talk yesterday at the microsoft blogger meeting. Great talk, you really gave me something to think about. Keep up the great work.
thanks for the refund offer, but i have to politely decline. I think the point is not that your hotel charged this much, but it is that hotels with the highest tariffs charge for wifi, which should be offered as a convenience and a service like say free instant coffee pouches.
hotel managements don’t seem to understand that connectivity is the way to go. Anyway, jeese brings up a good point: why do some of the budget hotels give away wifi for free.
Seems like no one heard of Boingo Global http://boingo.com/ ?
They even have Crown Plaza – Tel Aviv in their list http://www.boingo.com/search.html?pgt=results&lid=51550