There is a strong correlation between the speed of Hotel Wi-Fi and the cost of room

Public Wi-Fi has transformed the way we stay connected, enabling a whole generation of start-ups to be created in cafes and other ad-hoc workspaces. Cafes are now seem almost as likely to publicly advertise their Wi-Fi network as they are the quality of their coffee. As we grow more demanding of Wi-Fi, expecting to be able to watch television or skype friends on publicly accessible connections, knowing that a certain location offers Wi-Fi is no longer enough. We know which cafes have Wi-Fi, we know which stores have Wi-Fi, and we know that the hotels we visit have Wi-Fi; what we don’t know is how fast that Wi-Fi will be.


Many of the most popular networks in our database were large hotel chains, which typically use the same Wi-Fi SSID for all of their outlets. Using price data gathered from a 2012 consumer report we were able to plot Wi-Fi speed against cheapest room price, with a startling correlation between the two. For large chain hotel Wi-Fi, price = performance. One of the most interesting results is the difference between the two Disney Wi-Fis, ‘Disney-Guest’ and ‘In-room Guest Wi-Fi (Disney)’ which we assigned the same price value. The Disney in-room guest Wi-Fi is our biggest outlier, the second slowest of our qualifying networks at 1.56Mbps despite the high room price. This shows that the Wi-Fi Disney offer to their park guests is greatly outperforming the in-room Wi-Fi enjoyed by the guests in their hotels. Our data suggests that the reason for the slow in-room Wi-Fi speed is because it is throttled to 3 Mbps. The Wi-Fi networks we have coloured yellow and red are those that fall below the required 5Mbps recommended for HD streaming.


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