Daily Editorial: Where’s the value?
Vail CO, Colorado
One hour of free, wireless service is a pretty nice offer to make to Vail residents and tourists. And that’s exactly what CenturyTel agreed to deliver when it introduced wireless service to Vail more than a year ago.
Since then, though, residents and tourists have complained that the service has been spotty and inconsistent. Residents living in West Vail or East Vail neighborhoods struggle to get a signal, and even guests who are trying to log onto the Internet from a laptop in the heart of Vail Village have said the service has been less than reliable.
To be fair, others haven’t had problems with getting a connection through the wireless service.
It’s not as if CenturyTel’s service has been a total flop.
But now the company wants to nix the free part of wireless service for East and West Vail residents. Company officials say they’ve invested more money than they originally expected and need to recoup some of their costs.
Understandably, town officials who have been the recipient of complaints about wireless Internet ” and have their own complaints as users ” aren’t going for the proposal.
Vail shouldn’t agree to this suggestion until CenturyTel can deliver on what it promised back in November 2006.
Vail has built its reputation on providing tourists and guests consistent, top-notch service. CenturyTel has failed to meet Vail’s standard, and when a guest finds that out, it influences his or her opinion on Vail as a whole.
Instead, CenturyTel needs to work out the kinks with its service and then come back to Vail with its proposal.
At that point, CenturyTel would be justified in charging for a service that once was free.
In any case, Vail’s Wi-Fi likely would be more profitable for CenturyTel now if users thought it was worth the money ” $9.99 for a week of service and $499 for a year.
Until Vail’s Wi-Fi meets expectations, CenturyTel doesn’t have much leg to stand on asking for a lot more money.
” Tamara Miller for the Editorial Board