The Business of Wi-Fi


Usually when I go up to NYC I take the train from Trenton to Penn Station NY, but clearly I’m going to have to find a way to start traveling to Grand Central Station instead. The Weather Channel has announced it will sponsor free Wi-Fi at Grand Central for a year starting October 1st. It’s a brilliant idea. The Weather Channel gets massive visibility (discounted signage because it’s offering a free service?) and those of us passers-through that don’t have mobile broadband get much-needed Internet access. I’m sure the local eating establishments must be thrilled. One free-Wi-Fi coffee shop I frequent has a survey asking if you are likely to come more often because of the wireless service. Abso-frickin’-lutely!

Meanwhile, I wonder if this might not be a nice solution to the Muni Wi-Fi disaster that seems to be sweeping the nation…

4 thoughts on “The Business of Wi-Fi”

  1. I love the idea! But I bet some of the coffee shops and other eateries won’t, even if it sounds good to them now. If they’re full of people hogging tables while using the free Wi-Fi, they won’t be getting new customers in the door. The holy grail at GCT is turning those seats every few minutes, not $2 coffee drinkers parking their asses for an hour and a half.

  2. Comment one makes a good point about seat turnover, but people going through Grand Central are predominately on a schedule: they’re going to be there until their train is ready no matter what.

    Do any shops provide wifi now? Perhaps those places will get more turnover as people can get their cuppa joe, then head out near their track with station wide wifi, whereas they might have stuck close to the shop previously.

    As for Mari arriving at Grand Central…that’s not really going to happen coming from NJ. Even getting there coming in from NJ is a multi train trip: Penn Station, up to Times Sq, then the shuttle or 7 train to GCT. For free wifi? Not worth the hassle unless you already need to go there.

  3. I am *so* one of those $2 coffee drinkers parking my ass. But lutton is right, I don’t usually have a whole lot of time to waste at the train station.

    As for making it to GCT, you’re right, there’s no good way to get there from NJ. But I often find myself around 44th St. (lunch, meeting, etc.) and GCT isn’t too far away.

  4. Actually, I’m tired of free WiFi in coffee and sandwich shops. It usually means there are no seats or outlets left… I wish Panera would start charging for WiFi.

Comments are closed.