The central Government has recently pledged that all Spanish airports will have access to free Wi-Fi within 2 months. The Transport and Infrastructure Minister, Ana Pastor, commented that “connections at Spain’s, 46 passenger terminals will have no time limit.”

This is a dramatic improvement of the 15 minutes allowed now at the country’s airports and since December 2014 Wi-Fi speeds at Spanish airports have doubled, and faster connections are available for a ‘premium rate fee’ of 1.50 Euros.

The country’s governing body were left red-faced when its internet service was rated the most expensive and poorest quality of Wi-Fi worldwide by consumer research groups.

Now, it’s one of the cheapest – for premium-rate connections and before Christmas, will cost nothing for standard-speed internet. Airport authorities realised – that a blanket internet connection is no longer considered a bonus for the few – mostly professionals – who decide to take a laptop with them when they travel after seeing how passenger Wi-Fi use in Barceloña and Madrid went up by 85% and 68% respectively in 2014.Laptops, mobile phones, tablets, Notebooks and iPads are now standard in hand luggage and passengers would no more leave these behind than they would their purse or passport, and that for most passengers, airport Wi-Fi is an essential and basic service as restaurants, cafés and toilets. It seems unlikely that making Wi-Fi free in all airports will lead to a loss of revenue for the authorities – as studies show that last year, ‘premium rates’ in airports shot up by 21%. This seemed to coincide with the price being lowered from 4.50 Euros to 1.20 Euros – cheaper than many internet cafés and now being the most competitive price in Europe. The minimum charge elsewhere in Europe is 3.80 Euros in Düsseldorf and London Heathrow, but in Paris and Brussels the charge is 5.90Euros.