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GoGo the No-Go: Chasing the Margins of the Wired World

SpectrumDNA’s CEO Jim Bannister, a local to Park City, wrote this weekend about GoGo’s craptastic in-flight Internet service. I started a reply on his blog post, then chose to post here instead:


GoGo indeed seems to cling to a vestigial 90’s ISP business model, but there also seems to be a predatory element to them. GoGo’s ilk creep into telecosmic margins and attempt to wring out as much money as they can before they get eschewed by rising connectivity expectations and price commoditization. Then off they ooze to the next frontier where the wired business traveler still might encounter no-Net desperation.

Airports are now falling fast. Salt Lake International Airport finally provides free Wi-Fi–a big relief from BoingBoing (another WordWord ISP). Who knows what drove the switch, but it is definitely better for business travelers. Perhaps this is why Singapore started offering free wi-fi about 10 years ago (for your passport, they even lent out wi-fi PC-card adapters). As it gets easier to send that last-minute email from the airport, the plane is the new frontier, and sometimes may seem worth $12.95/shot, shoddy though it may be.

History shows us that these high-price leaders may even make their ouster inevitable. Hotel rooms, once charging as much as $25/day, are no longer a happy hunting ground for these businesses. More and more, chains are including Internet rather than tacking it on as an extra. Travelers like me factor this cost into selecting a room.

As with big banks, creditors, and mobile carriers, people begrudge these ISP’s for their bleed-’em-when-there’s-no-other-option overcharging, and their poor service. Not a single tear gets shed when the site of their latest exploits dries up. Soon enough, big airlines will differentiate their service with Wi-Fi as part of their frequent flyer programs, and gone goes the GoGo.



One Response

  1. […] GoGo the No-Go: Chasing the Margins of the Wired World « Reverend Ted’s Blog […]

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