In the past, any Tom, Dick or Sally who came in the door could hop on our guest network for an hour free of charge. Moving forward, there will be a charge to use our WiFi for those who aren’t members or haven’t paid to use our space in some way.
Members will continue to have the highest speed access we offer, on a secured member network, included in their membership (no additional charge). WiFi will also be provided on a guest network, without additional charge, to people with a Guest or Day Pass and to any presenter/teacher/meeting leader who has paid to reserve a meeting room. Others can get 2 hours of WiFi for $5.
This was discussed at our Fall Member Meeting. Here’s what we heard from you:
- Some said most coffee shops and restaurants now offer “free” WiFi and we might want to consider doing the same – as we always have – as a gesture of good will.
- Others noted WiFi is not really free at a coffee shop because, in theory, you’ve purchased food from them. We are not a coffee shop. We’re a coworking space, which is more akin to an office. If you visit an office to attend a meeting or to meet a friend, you don’t typically get free access to the company’s network.
- Most members who attended the Fall Member Meeting didn’t see a need for visitors / meeting attendees to have free WiFi. About 10% said they have meetings with clients who actively use WiFi as part of the meeting (there’s not just one active computer screen being viewed with everyone discussing what’s on that screen).
- About half of the Fall Member Meeting attendees said they would feel obligated to pay for WiFi access for their guests if there was a charge and, while they’d rather not have to pay, they would.
- If we do this, there needs to be a way to make exceptions.
Based on your input, we’re moving forward with this change and are adding a way to make exceptions. You’re never expected to pay to bring a client in for a meeting here. With the exception of Flex-time members, who don’t have meeting rooms included in their membership, you can reserve meeting rooms and meet with clients as often as you need (withing the time allotted for your membership). Most of your clients won’t need WiFi. For exceptions, we’ll provide voucher numbers for 2 hours of free WiFi access to members who need them. See Glen or Julia for details.
The upside to this is that it helps fund things for members. Just 2 paid WiFi charges buys 3 twelve-packs of soft drinks, 1 Domino’s pizza, or limes and agave syrup for our next margarita happy hour.
Also, nothing is unchangeable, so if we decide later on that we should bring back free access, we can do that.
This seems like a good place for a reminder about Guest Passes. If someone comes to Cowork Frederick to work (with you or without you) on something, they should get a Guest Pass. If they’re a client in for a meeting or class, no Guest Pass needed. You’re smart, so you’ve probably already figured out our new policy offers the partner, employee, contractor, etc. who comes in briefly to work on something access to the guest network for up to two hours for $5 instead of paying $18 for a full Guest Pass. There are no objections to that. We trust you do what’s right, to play fair.