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Consumers Resist Paying for Wi-Fi Hotspots

TechWeb reports that a growing number of people are using public Wi-Fi, but the majority are unwilling to pay for the wireless Internet service, a market researcher said.

By the end of last year, adoption of public Wi-Fi by the online population in the United States rose to 20 percent from 14 percent the previous year, JupiterResearch said in a report. However, 58 percent of the people accessing the Internet over wireless hotspots said they only used the service when it's free.

"While the adoption of public hotspots is growing rapidly, willingness of consumers to pay for access is not keeping pace," JupiterResearch analyst Ina Sebastian said in a statement. "Business users are most likely to pay for use, but there isn't enough frequent use to drive adoption of subscription models yet."

Regardless, to boost paid services, the researcher recommends service providers focus on hotspots for business travelers -- particularly in locations where there's captive wait time, such as airports.

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