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The Internet at $0.75 Per Minute
February 24, 2013 - 9:00pm

Would you take a vacation if you could not access the Internet?   

What would you pay per minute to get online?

Having just returned from a week of vacation I can answer both questions.

Yes ... I will vacation offline.

No.... I will not pay $0.75 a minute to go online.

$0.75 per minute is what the Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL) charges for wireless Internet access. That is the "pay as you go" plan.  You can also opt for "time plan 1" - which is 250 minutes for $100 ($0.40 a minute). Or "time plan 2" - at 100 minutes for $55 ($0.55 per minute). No credit given for unused minutes.

And yes.... we put the iPhones in Airplane mode, turned them off, and locked them in the cabin safe - as we didn't want to become another family telling stories of multi-thousand dollar roaming charges!

So no Internet for the Kim family for a week.

Is NCL being shortsighted? Will you read this and cancel your planned cruise? Maybe.

I know more and more people who refuse to vacation anywhere that bandwidth is not as accessible as booze.

These non-negotiable Internet travelers are not limited to the workaholics and social media addicts. 

How many of you are taking (or teaching) online courses where your course calendar and vacation calendar do not align?   

The growth of online learning will mean the death of offline vacationing.

Or maybe the $100 for a few hours of Web time is not such a bad deal after all? The costs being being offline may certainly be higher than $0.40, $0.55, or $0.75 cents per minute.    

Most of us (I'm betting) can remember the time when online minutes were expensive. In 1995 it costs $2.95 an hour to get on AOL or Prodigy, after a $9.95 monthly base fee and 5 free hours

Today, we take for granted our cheap, fast and ubiquitous web access. (Unless you live in a rural area that remains unserved by DSL or cable - a reality I lived with until 2008!).  

Web access at $0.75 a minute reminds us how precious our bandwidth really is.

What is your vacation Internet budget?


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