Techdirt has a nice analysis of a News.com interview with Sky Dayton: The contributor examines Dayton’s math for figuring out how a cafe can make money on Wi-Fi. Dayton estimates that the cafe needs about six users a day to make it pay off. Last week at a wireless conference in Seattle, David Hagan, Boingo's president, said two to three users a day would make a break even business.
All this talk from Boingo about how to make the business work makes me think they're getting nervous about how to make Wi-Fi pay. Hagan actually tried to quiet the discussion a bit. "It's too early to expect every piece of the value chain to make money," he said. That point may be valid if you've got deep pockets, but that's hardly acceptable to the small guys who can't afford to loose money for a year.