Traveling with a laptop is no longer a matter of choice; it is a necessity. And not always for business reasons. A notebook computer allows you to do a lot of personal things as well, like, staying in touch with family or being able to download your vacation photos and publish them online right away.
The way hotels mint money if you touch their in-room phone or mini-bar, Internet access in the hotel has been a big moneymaker for them even though once the network is setup for their employees, the incremental cost of adding more surfers is minimal.
Thanks to AnchorFree, even mom-and-pop stores can now not only provide free wi-fi access on their property but also make money off it. The company will also provide you with hardware if you do not have your own already installed. The connection is free to the users but one has to tolerate some advertising at the top of the browser (I am hoping that it is not a major nuisance considering our laptop screens are already quite large and more than 90% of web pages carry some advertising). Plus, advertising is expected to be targeted. I wouldn’t mind seeing an ad for a restaurant close to my hotel that offers a free drink to anyone who sees the ad.