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More FREE WiFi as Airports Join in

Mon Jun 21, 2010 - 1:09 PM EDT - By Annie Latham

Over the weekend, John Boudreau of the MercuryNews.com reported San Francisco International (AKA SFO) will join Mineta San Jose International (SJC) and Oakland International (OAK) airports in offering free Internet connections. According to San Francisco Airport spokesman Mike McCarron, the free service which begins September 1, will replace a fee-based Wi-Fi connection provided by T-Mobile.

At WiFi Net News, it was noted how "it's increasingly common for airports of all sizes to go free; Seattle-Tacoma dropped charges in January, for instance, and Atlanta is considering the move."

In a separate post, WiFi Net News mentioned how Orlando's airport is getting money from Google ($155,000 per year for two years, plus a split of advertising revenue in what Google describes as "in the spirit of experimentation.") for project that has Google placing "as many as" 50 kiosks for free Internet access around the airport." Orlando already offers free Wi-Fi, so this "pilot project" will be supplementing existing budgets rather than replacing paid session fees.

Comment: Everything seems geared towards accommodating Apple's iPad and new iPhone, as well as other customers.

At the end of the day, the road warrior wins. Though, as noted by Diane Mack-Williams, San Jose's director of airport technology services in the Mercury News article, "Free Wi-Fi is great, but if you can't plug in your laptop and charge your battery, it doesn't help you."

Good point. Need to ratchet up some "Power Stations."


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