I’m your typical only-slightly-left-of-center liberal, in that while I believe we need govt regulation and consumer-protection laws, I also believe market forces will auto-correct a lot of lame consumer offerings. Except when I personally feel jerked around – then it’s martial law time.
Case in point: hotel wifi. What kind of internet access do you have? we ask brightly. Wireless internet in all the rooms! they say brightly. Then you arrive, and begin to dimly realize that the real situation is some small underpowered wireless router hidden behind the boilers in the sub-basement of your 10-story hotel. And as long as they have one of those, somewhere, that’s powered up some of the time, they can say that, can’t they?
Clearly it’s past time for a Federal Bureau of Wireless Quality Inspection, complete with unsmiling G-man trenchcoat types impersonating laptop-toting guests, and their black-jumpsuited tech experts in wardrive vans monitoring signal strength to the microbar. Just think of the restauranteur’s fear of the Health Inspector (in the U.S.) or the Guide Michelin reviewer (in France) and you’ll see where I think we need to go with this.