Hawaiʻi's Technology Community

Dan Leuck, Brent Norris, and Andrew Fowers and I were on a panel discussion today at the Zero Emissions Congress, talking about how digital technology can reduce emissions - and numerous other related topics.

One of the topics concerned the limited availability of wifi and I agreed to start a motion here on Tech Hui.

I would like to collect 10 to 100 Reasons Why HNL Should Offer Free Wifi and I am counting on the Tech Huians to help me crowd source this. Please add your reason here, and I will assemble them all and present them to the Governor with your names and businesses attached. There are building upgrades getting started at the airport so our timing might just be perfect.

Here are a few categories of ideas for us to explore:
- green concepts
- tourism-friendly
- business-friendly
- time savings
- aloha technology
- mobile benefits
- hawaii leadership

Thanks in advance for your ideas and participation!

UPDATE: I'd love to collect actual testimonials, 1-5 sentences, stating how you will benefit, your organization, others that you can imagine, etc. Be specific, and if someone has already stated a particular idea, no problem! Go ahead an restate it in your own words. Change happens because of individuals, with specific stories to tell based on real life experience! I also modified my goals too.

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Comment by Roxanne Darling on October 4, 2010 at 3:28pm
@Chris - Definitely worth mentioning! Do you know if it works with smart phones? I sometimes find that free wifi that requires login does not speak iphone. Yes, it does look like a decent move for Hawaiian to consider, or even the airlines together - share the cost and share the gift to their customers.
Comment by Chris Runnells on October 4, 2010 at 12:43pm
I suppose it's worth mentioning that Hawaiian already offers free wifi for Pualani club members in their lounges. There's a login, which is printed at the front desk of the lounges, but the system is already in place. Hawaiian would just have to drop a few more WAPs and buy some more bandwidth to cover the whole Interisland terminal. Expanding to the international side would require a little more work.
Comment by Roxanne Darling on October 4, 2010 at 10:43am
Alrighty! Thanks for the poke Peter - it helped flush out this idea in a positive direction, and as Daniel Tosh would say, "For that, I am grateful."

I'd love to see a few more endorsements/use cases for those who've not yet posted in this thread. :-)
Comment by Peter Kay on October 4, 2010 at 10:20am
I think that's the key: sponsorship. Come up with good ROI scenarios that will justifiably subsidize access. Starbucks already does it and it works in their situation. Wifi is a magnet for laptop users. Based on the actual stats of logins/access, you could probably get someone to sponsor the splash page of a wifi connection.

You could at least give free wifi for X minutes/hours and then offer a paid option after that. Or perhaps this could be a feature for airlines premium travelers. If you have over X miles on Hawaiian, for example, you get free wifi while you're near the Hawaiian gates.
Comment by Daniel Leuck on October 4, 2010 at 10:05am
The idea of sponsorship is a good one. The sponsorship package could include some well placed "WiFi Courtesy of Acme" wall space. That way the tax payers aren't picking up the burden, a local tech presence can be advertised and we can avoid looking like a low tech stopover. The airport budget could include a small budget to cover gaps between sponsorships.

Right now the situation is pretty bad. When I'm flying in or out to Asia and the mainland HNL's internet access situation sticks out like a sore thumb.
Comment by Roxanne Darling on October 4, 2010 at 9:12am
@Francis - Thanks for weighing in here. The connection you made between analog access to information and wifi is spot on IMO.

@Peter - What I meant was that I would like to see wifi internet access available for free to the travelers and workers at HNL. In the grand scheme of running an airport, it is a manini incremental cost, yet the benefits are enormous and varied It is those benefits I am trying to crowd-source here.

Once we have a picture of the beneficiaries in action, there is no reason that this internet access could not be a sponsored asset. For example, numerous state agencies are trying to promote Hawaii as a business-friendly destination and a place for development of a green/clean economy. To me it is a no-brainer to use actions in lieu of words to do this - and by having free wifi at the airport this gets done. Business travelers associate their time gaps at HNL and other local airports with productivity.

So yes, of course someone has to pay for it. I think it should be a line item expense for the airport, and then they would would be smart to collaborate on this as there are many who would benefit from being known as the providers of free internet.

Perhaps your sponsor Oceanic would see it as a good investment, so that as new businesses expand here they are already pre-sold and ready to purchase Business Class internet based on the experience coming and going through HNL?
Comment by Peter Kay on October 3, 2010 at 9:17pm
Roxanne I appreciate what you're doing here but I take issue with the title. There is no such thing as "Free" wifi, at least to my knowledge.

How do you propose paying for this?
Comment by Francis L. Camacho on October 3, 2010 at 7:35pm
Access to knowledge and empowerment and enlightenment.

Much like the presence of public libraries or even a bookmobile in communities where access to such avenues of learning does not exist. It will provide equal access to all who are motivated to use it. For business communications, its obvious.
Comment by Brian on September 17, 2010 at 2:33pm
@Roxanne, Oh sure, I'm just thinking we're a little different from a typical hub in that regard.

Free airport wifi sends a message of Aloha to our kama'aina, visitors, and business travelers alike. High bandwidth wifi available to everyone will facilitate initiatives such as more convenient/paperless checkins, on-demand video/entertainment options (which could include locally produced content), as well as meeting the robust collaboration demands of serious business travelers on the go.
Comment by Roxanne Darling on September 17, 2010 at 11:28am
Great points Dan - I am going to count yours as two!


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