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The Wi-Fi Foundation is a non-profit community WiFi network launched by HTL Wi-Fi in January 2011, and is currently the only provider of networked Wi-Fi Hot Spots without an ongoing subscription fee. http://www.wififoundation.org/
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Do you run a coffee shop, restaurant, pub, book store, or another public place where your clients would enjoy the benefits of having access to WiFi hotspots? You may have thought about providing the service on your own but wondered how your business was going to actually benefit and control the costs at the same time.
An effective way to deal with these issues was presented by an organization in the UK. They provide businesses with a WiFi router designed to provide visitors with free internet access, but provide business owners a few unique advantages.
The first advantage is the ability to capture email addresses from their visitors. There is nothing underhanded going on here. When the visitor to their establishment wishes to use one of the free WiFi hotspots they are asked to provide their email address and are notified they may receive email updates from your business. This allows you to send out sales notifications, a newsletter, or other announcements to visitors to your business.
The second advantage this organization offers to businesses is one of the biggest shocks in the industry. They do not require a monthly fee from the business owners. All the businesses are required to pay for is the low cost router for their business and to provide their own internet access, which they probably already have. This reduces your costs to setting up safe and effective WiFi hotspots without all of the recurring monthly fees.
The third advantage is one you may not have even thought about. Did you consider the requirements for filtering content to protect your business? What about the needs to provide law enforcement officials with logs if they are investigating a visitor to your business? These problems are all dealt with by the organization providing the WiFi hotspot software and routers.
Most business owners do not understand how to configure WiFi hotspots nor should they need to. This is one of the biggest reasons to deal with an organization which can provide you with a prepackaged system. They can help you determine exactly what you need and make the installation almost effortless. In most situations it is a case of plugging in the power cord and one network cable and you are finished.
If your business covers a wider area you may need to add a repeater to cover the entire facility. This can be added for a very low cost. This ensures you can reach all of those hidden corners in your restaurant, bar, or store.
You should ask yourself an important question about your business. Are you losing clients to your competitors because they offer free WiFi and you do not? You might be surprised. With the proliferation of smart phones, tablet PC’s, iPads, netbooks, and notebooks clients are seeking out sites with WiFi hotspots in increasing numbers. If you do not provide the service you are likely losing clients who want to use the internet while they eat, drink, or browse. How fast would you add WiFi hotspots if the process was easy and the cost were low?