updated 09:36 am EDT, Wed October 3, 2012
Wi-Fi cost passed from customer to retail store
Skype is offering free Wi-Fi access across the UK and Ireland through its app. A deal signed with hotspot provider Wicoms will let customers connect at no charge at various "high street venues and businesses" across the country, in a move that sees the service offer free Internet connectivity for far longer than previous short-term special events, such as in New York City during New Year's Eve.
Although the service will be free to customers, requiring only a Skype account, businesses will be charged a fee monthly or yearly to Wicoms and pay for the initial equipment required to offer access. Wicoms is marketing it as a simple and relatively cheap way for businesses to provide a hotspot that otherwise could not afford to do so.
Skype is the latest company to push free public Wi-Fi in the UK. Internet providers BT and Sky both offer free access to its subscribers through retail stores, and through BT's Fon service, other customer's broadband connections.
Currently, Skype allows its users to pay for Wi-Fi access through Skype Credit with various providers around the world. It isn't clear if the same deal found in the UK will cross over to other markets. [via The Next Web]