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Why Isn’t Internet Access Free For Travelers?

This isn’t one hundred percent blog related, though many of us have probably dealt with the same issue. You are on some trip somewhere, and you pick up a wireless connection. You connect, and after loading up your web browser, it asks you to sign up for some service that costs X amount of dollars before being able to really connect to the Internet.
Over on Somewhat Frank, there is an article, which is basically a rant asking, why isn’t Internet access free for travelers?

I have been traveling quite a bit lately and have had to rely on public Internet access. Much to my dismay I have found that most hotels and airports still do not offer free Internet access. Why isn’t airport and hotel Internet access a standard free feature?
Airport Internet Access
WifiI feel that having to pay for Internet access in airports is unconscionable since travelers are a captive audience and are only in the concourse for a short period of time. I understand it is a business however the price is manifestly unjustice as travelers pay between $5 and $21 for short term access. I would think airports would want to make concourses friendlier to business travelers by offering a complementary service

Read the rest at Somewhat Frank.
This is probably something that drives me absolutely insane, especially after moving cities from one that had free or cheap wireless pretty much everywhere, to a city where there is almost no wireless anywhere, and anywhere there is a wireless signal, its pay to use (not counting residential of course, keep your wardriving comments to yourself).
Some of the businesses where I used to live, even make a point of marketing their free Wi-Fi service, and no doubt travelers use that business a fraction more because of the access. We are used to getting what we want, anywhere we go, and just like our cell phones almost always have a signal, and pretty much every hotel room, and public television has a cable connection, we expect Wireless to become as prevalent.
I would really love to see more business implement free wireless Internet, especially if they are attempting to appeal to travelers or probloggers like myself. There is nothing better than posting a few stories in the morning at a Cafe, or over some greasy Denny’s.