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Free, fast Wi-Fi more common at independent hotels, study says

Free, fast Wi-Fi more common at independent hotels, study says
A new study found that free and fast wireless internet is more comment at independent and low-cost hotels. (Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)

If fast and free wireless Internet is a priority when you book a hotel room, don't expect speedy Wi-Fi at pricey chain hotels.

That was a key conclusion in a new study by the website HotelWiFiTest.com, which collected and analyzed Wi-Fi speeds from 1,309 hotels across the country.

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The study found that independent hotels are more likely to offer free Wi-Fi while upscale chains such as  Sheraton, Marriott and Hilton offer free Wi-Fi at only a limited number of properties. A Marriott spokesman declined to comment, saying he does not know how the study was conducted.

The study praised Quality Inn, a low-cost brand operated by Choice Hotels International, saying the chain offers free Wi-Fi in more than 75% of its hotels at speeds faster than most higher-priced hotels.

Fast and free Wi-fi is important to guests, especially business travelers, said Dan Sweiger, brand strategy director for Quality Inn.

"It's one of the many ways our guests get their money's worth at Quality," he said.

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

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