Wi-Fi seems to be edging up there with F&B minimums in the annoying-cost-that-must-be-swallowed category, but maybe better times are coming? Apparently so, according to HotelChatter's 2013 hotel Wi-Fi report, which found more than two-thirds of hotels saying they provide free Wi-Fi. But (and you knew there'd be a but) availability can be limited to the lobby, or it's only free for a while before you start to pay, or you only get a minimal bandwidth. They thoughtfully include a link to a list of Wi-Fi heroes and villains around the world, as well as their list of who offers free access and who charges for it.
They do not, unfortunately, delve into the significantly murkier waters of who provides free Wi-Fi in their meeting spaces, which while essential for so many of today's meetings, is a pretty rare bird. Just dealing with the whole Wi-Fi issue for meetings can be pretty exhausting. My colleague Alison Hall pulled together all sorts of tips and advice and explanations. Here's a meeting planner Wi-Fi cheat sheet; but if you don't mind filling out a quick registration form, you can get to the entire Ultimate Guide to Wi-Fi at Events. An added bonus: I spent way too much time teaching myself how to put together infographics to go with the story, which I think came out OK for a first try!