San Francisco Mulls Two-Tiered WiFi
The dual-tier model for broadband, with fees based on connection speed, appears to be gaining ground. Jupiter Research analyst Ina Sebastian, who helped author a report about WiFi last year, said it's not unusual for municipalities to arrange for dual-tier WiFi--especially in rural areas, where the same provider might serve homes and businesses.
So far, however, few consumers have paid for WiFi access. A Jupiter Research report last year found that 20 percent of online users had connected via WiFi hotspots, but that just 9 percent of online users had paid for the service.
Last summer, DSL providers began a big push to roll out tiered service for consumers. SBC Communications and Verizon said they would begin offering broadband service with Yahoo for around $15 a month, but at relatively slow speeds of around 750 kilobits per second.