Jonathan Green explodes at his recent experience in Newark Airport where he had WiFi but found the power outlets all without juice.
Just this past Monday night I found myself in Phoenix's Sky Harbor, one of the airports that a national publication called the best for WiFi. Sure the signal was there, but on my Mac I couldn't get even to the home page. Of course I was able to at least get to the SouthWest Airlines pilots and flight attendants portal page, proving there was nothing wrong with my Mac.
Let's face it, the whole concept of WiFi and technology in airports is broken. The older established airports either do it right or turn the service over to a company that understands, or the lowest bidder. Sometimes contracts with telecom carriers decide who has the rights. Compared to Europe, where I get a standard experience country by country for the most part, like in Spain with Kubi, France with Orange, T-Mobile or BT in the UK, etc. here in the USA it's purely Russian Roulette unless you see T-Mobile, AT&T or Boingo's Concourse Communications as the SSID.
Gateway services seem to be the biggest challenge, and airports and their providers who insist on supporting only PC's with Windows and Internet Explorer seem to lead the list of hurdles. That and not enough bandwidth on the property of course.
But this power issue, spurred on by 9/11 is another challenge. In Phoenix Southwest Airlines built up these cool work spaces, complete with power outlets. Think of them as mini airport lounges without the lounge. Unfortunately while I had the juice, I didn't have the WiFi....