Many brands, big ones notwithstanding, offer their clients free access to Wi-Fi. So why not join the party? When you offer this free service, you’ll attract a young and urban clientele to your premises, freelancers and “digital nomads” if you will. You will also increase loyalty amongst your existing local clients by creating a close relationship with them. You can take the opportunity to suggest they “like” your Facebook page. Or leave a positive review about your company. What’s more, passersby who stop at your business to take advantage of your free Wi-Fi might come back and even turn into new clients. Making Wi-Fi available to your customers will also give your company a “modern” feel that will help you stand out from your competitors. And finally, establishing yourself as one of your neighbourhood’s free Internet hotspots will inevitably provide you with exposure.
When a business offers free Wi-Fi to their clients, there are two possible scenarios. You can either call upon an Internet Provider (IP), in which case it is up to them to complete the necessary steps. The other option is you can contact a telephone operator directly, set up your business and manage your clients’ Wifi access yourself. In this case, you’re the access provider! But be aware that as of March 24, 2006, you are the one who will be held responsible in case of the fraudulent use of your connection. In addition to forbidding illegal downloads, you will also be requested to facilitate the identification of your Wi-Fi users, as well as track connection traces. This means you need to save:
But take note. While you do need to archive any “data that allows for the identification of a user” (or else be liable for prison time and a € 75 000 fine), you are not required to reveal the identity of your clients. Finally, you are not permitted to access or save, by your own initiative, either the content of emails sent via your Wi-Fi network or the consulted websites.