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Debate venue offering journalists $200 'bargain' for WiFi

Engadget logo Engadget 26/09/2016 Timothy J. Seppala
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At one point or another, we've all paid too much to access Wifi when we're out and about. Well, ahead of tonight's first presidential debate of the general election between Republican candidate Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton, journalists will apparently have to shell out $200 to connect to Hofstra University's wireless network. That's according to a tweet fromSlate political reporter Jim Newell. Personal WiFi hotspots are prohibited as well, with Newell adding that he isn't sure exactly how the venue will enforce the edict.

As a bit of confirmation, Vocativ's social media specialist Ryan Beckler posted a tweet with the following image, presumably from within the university:

$200 for WiFi access, $75 for a seat in the media filing room (without internet access) or $325 for a hardline connection and a seat in the media filing center. Sounds like a veritable circus of value. However, given that nearly every modern smartphone can act as a modem, the chances of this keeping journalists offline are pretty slim. That doesn't mean the event's staffers aren't trying.

A tweet from Politico's Kenneth P. Vogel shows an AIrcheck WiFi Tester in use for detecting any unauthorized networks. If you're on the ground and reading this, know that using USB tethering will sidestep the $2,000 tool's methods.

Ryan Beckler (Twitter), Jim Newell (Twitter), Kenneth P. Vogel (Twitter)

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