Free WiFi is a good thing, and these days you can find it at all over the place from McDonald's to Starbucks, but what if you're out in the park to catch some fresh air? Now there's a plan to cover 32 of New York City's parks with free WiFi, provided by Cablevision and Time Warner in exchange a ten year extension of their city cable contracts.
The problem is that just like a crack dealer they're only going to give you a little bit for free, after which you'll be charged handsomely to continue feeding your addiction.
The $10 million plan calls for users to get 30 free minutes per month, after which you'll be charged 99-cents per day. As if that's not crappy enough, the 30 free minutes will be provided in three 10-minute chunks, so you can't just take a minute each day to check email as you cross the park.
Far from just providing a public service as intended, this sounds like a huge money maker for the cable companies. They will have a steady stream of customers going past their 10-minute limit and simply paying the extra buck, rather than walking to Starbucks and getting the WiFi for free. Of course Starbucks wants you to buy a cup of their expensive coffee in return, but that seems fair enough.