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U.S. ranks low in quality WiFi at hotels

U.S. ranks low in quality WiFi at hotels
Attorney Richard Macias works in his room at the Wilshire Grand Hotel in downtwon Los Angeles. A study says that the U.S. ranks low in providing quality WiFi at hotels. (Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)

Bad news for hotel guests who love to update their Facebook status, stream YouTube videos and upload Instagram photos: When it comes to quality wireless connections at hotels, the U.S. ranks 40th worldwide, behind South Korea, Poland, Vietnam, Mexico, Russia and India, among many others.

The good news is that the U.S. ranks high in giving out WiFi free of charge.

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The ranking comes from a new study by Hotel WiFi Test, a site that takes WiFi data from travelers to gauge Internet speeds at hotels around the world.

The site determines WiFi quality by calculating the percentage of hotels with download speeds of at least 3 megabits a second — the Netflix recommendation for standard definition-quality streaming — and an upload speed of 500 kilobits a second. That is the Skype recommendation for high-quality non-HD video calling.

Only 36% of the U.S. hotels tested met those standards, according to the report. The country with the highest ranking, South Korea, met those standards in 92% of the hotels tested.

The site also found that 85% of the U.S. hotels tested offered free WiFi, surpassing the rate for South Korea (74%), Japan (52%) and Hong Kong (65%), among others.

To read more about travel, tourism and the airline industry, follow me on Twitter at @hugomartin.

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