With two-thirds of Americans planning at least one leisure trip this summer and the majority interested in staying connected to the Web through a mobile device, knowing where WiFi is available is becoming increasingly important, according to a survey by Wefi.
The company collected data from more than 45 million hotspots based on the implementation of its intelligent network selection solution within multiple cable operators throughout the United States, across hotel chains, airports and even beaches.
The metrics, based on a 45-day average of WiFi speeds for each location starting from April 1 to June 15, found Red Roof Inns (4.34M bps) Sleep Inn hotels (4.14M bps) and Ramada hotels (3.69M bps) offered the fastest WiFi, followed by the Holiday Inn brand (3.68M bps) and then Best Western hotels (3.66M bps).
For airports, the top three fastest WiFi networks were found at Detroit Metropolitan Airport (4.63M bps), Denver International Airport, (4.33M bps), and the Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (3.74M bps).
Los Angeles International Airport (3.29M bps) and Washington Dulles International Airport, VA (3.09M bps) rounded out the top five, while the nation’s busiest airport, Hartsfield-Jackson in Atlanta, landed in eighth place.
"It’s no longer enough to just think about what to pack or where you’re headed—significant thought needs to be given to what WiFi connectivity will be like while on the road," Zur Feldman, chairman and CEO of Wefi, said in a statement. "Whether it’s about staying plugged in and on top of things at work, sharing pictures with family and friends, streaming a movie for the kids or as simple as downloading mobile boarding passes before a flight, quality connectivity options are now an important consideration."
For beach-goers, Clearwater Beach, Fla., tops the list of beaches with the fastest WiFi, while four of the top nine are located in California. The beach in Atlantic City, N.J., with average speeds of 2.8M bps, placed second, followed by South Beach Miami in Florida, where average speeds stood at 1.9M bps.
While it may seem counterintuitive to factor WiFi availability into a day playing in the sand and surf, 60 percent of Americans can’t go one full day without WiFi access before seeking a connection and three in 10 can’t go one full hour without connectivity, according to a Broadcom study.
That study indicated reliance on WiFi is so strong that many would also sacrifice guilty pleasures. Of those surveyed, 43 percent would go without chocolate and 39 percent would go without coffee for a month to guarantee access to a reliable WiFi connection.