If hotel guests have their way any time soon, the days when hotels charge guests for wireless Internet will be a thing of the past. Listen to this rant from the New Zealand Herald’s Pamela Wade:

Access to free, fast, reliable WiFi ought to be as standard in hotel rooms as the provision of toilet paper. It should be like electricity and water: factored into the room rate as a normal facility, and unthinkable not to provide it. Personally, I would give up the 1000-count sheets that, being asleep, I’m mostly unconscious of, the fluffy robe and silly scuffs that I never wear, and the huge noisy spa bath that takes forever to fill, if I could instead settle down to read my emails, post to my blog, check up on the news at home and generally behave as though I live in the 21st century and not some 1980s outpost where the closest thing to email is airmail.

She goes on to note that most budget hostels and high-end properties have seen the light, but that many mid-range hotels have not. If you have five minutes, it’s a great read from a [irritated] customer’s perspective.

Link: Hotels need to wise up on WiFi (New Zealand Herald)

To be honest, we think she’s right for the vast majority of properties out there. And with the costs of installing and managing a strong, robust guest wireless network falling and competition rising, it’s hard to see why more hotels aren’t dropping the charges. For example, service (including equipment, install, support and more) from Liveport works out to just $2 per room, per month. Even after adding in monthly ISP costs, hotels are still able to provide fast, fully managed wireless in every room for pennies a day.

What do you think? Where is guest WiFi headed in the future?