Print 16 comment(s) - last by jjsimp.. on Nov 10 at 3:36 PM

Google gets into the holiday spirit with free Wi-Fi

One inevitable fact of the holiday season is that airports around the country will be packed. That means that millions of American's will be schlepping through airports on layovers looking for something to do with their time and keep in touch with friends and family.

Google has already given travelers its holiday gift with free Wi-Fi in selected airports. The free Wi-Fi service is available as of today and will remain free through January 15, 2010. The free service will be offered in many of the largest airports in the country including Las Vegas, San Jose, Boston, Baltimore, Burbank, Houston, Indianapolis, Seattle, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Orlando, St. Louis, and Charlotte. The airports at Burbank and Seattle will continue to offer free Wi-Fi to all travelers indefinitely.

"We're very happy to extend our Holiday Wi-Fi gift to the millions of people who will spend time in airports over the next few months," said Marissa Mayer, Vice President of Search Products and User Experience at Google. "We know that this is a very hectic travel season for people, and we hope that free Wi-Fi will make both traveling and connecting with friends and family a little bit easier."

The full list of airports offering free Wi-Fi can be found here. Google does warn that users of the free Wi-Fi will be hit with a request to donate money to one of three charities including Engineers Without Borders, the One Economy Corporation, or the Climate Savers Computing Initiative. Travelers can use the free service without donating though.

“Google gets this year’s Wi-Fi Santa award for sponsoring complimentary access in dozens of airports, both to the traveler’s and airport’s benefit,” said Dave Hagan, president and CEO of Boingo Wireless. “In addition to the obvious bonus holiday travelers will enjoy, sponsored access will increase overall Wi-Fi usage in the participating airports and help supplement the airport’s increasingly important non-airline incremental revenue.”

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JFK gets shafted...
By maven81 on 11/10/2009 10:43:34 AM , Rating: 2
Wow, I guess JFK in new york is not considered large enough!

RE: JFK gets shafted...
By callmeroy on 11/10/2009 10:54:00 AM , Rating: 2
Reading the DT article I was wondering how Philadelphia got passed over but lesser airports like Baltimore made the list....until I went to the link in the article and saw that :

Los Angeles

Also weren't included....

Well I guess if arguably the three busiest airports in the nation don't make the list it is no surpise Philly didn'

RE: JFK gets shafted...
By Tamale on 11/10/2009 11:00:06 AM , Rating: 2
or o'hare for that matter.. still one of the largest airports in the world

RE: JFK gets shafted...
By Sazar on 11/10/2009 11:35:22 AM , Rating: 3
I seriously doubt they were going simply by size of the airport.

If you think about it, the overall costs of implementation in larger airports is much higher, especially if Google is doing this out of pocket. There are further issues with a multiple terminal setup (note that DFW is not listed).

Austin's airport is TINY by comparison, I flew in and out of there last week, but it is very convenient for implementation of a wi-fi hotspot.

Kudos to Google for providing a little more cheer :D

Next step, airlines implement a power port at EVERY seat in their planes.

RE: JFK gets shafted...
By SiliconAddict on 11/10/2009 11:58:08 AM , Rating: 2
Umm I HIGHLY doubt Google is setting up a network from scratch. (Something your post suggests they are doing.)
All they are probably doing is piggybacking on ATT's network and paying the bill for free access.

RE: JFK gets shafted...
By Sazar on 11/10/2009 12:03:07 PM , Rating: 2
Yep, they are probably piggy-backing.

Some of the wi-fi hotspots in airports out there right now. Many are already setup for FREE wi-fi, which probably explains why some didn't make it on the list.

RE: JFK gets shafted...
By FITCamaro on 11/10/2009 2:07:18 PM , Rating: 2
Seriously. How did freakin Atlanta get left off the list. I believe it still holds the world's busiest airport crown.

By damianrobertjones on 11/10/2009 10:36:48 AM , Rating: 2
Information is money.

That's why, even though Google offers this for free, it's worth one heck of a lot to them.


RE: Nice
By FormulaRedline on 11/10/2009 10:53:47 AM , Rating: 2
It's a great idea. It will get more people using Google services during a profitable season. What better way for an internet search company to generate ad revenue than to have people waiting for a flight with nothing better to do shop for Holiday gifts online?

By Souka on 11/10/2009 10:59:23 AM , Rating: 2
What sort of bandwidth will be available?

RE: Bandwidth?
By ussfletcher on 11/10/2009 11:40:15 AM , Rating: 2
A 'google'.

Skipped airports
By HideOut on 11/10/2009 12:17:01 PM , Rating: 2
Folks, the airports that got left out probably had nothing to do with size (obviously) but rather by contracts that those airports had with vendors to provide EXCLUSIVE wifi coverage. Perhaps someday those overpriced contracts will vanish but for now be happy with what we get for free...

RE: Skipped airports
By invidious on 11/10/2009 12:46:28 PM , Rating: 2
You mean be happy with what others get for free? lol

Kind of suspicious
By ziggo on 11/10/2009 3:35:28 PM , Rating: 2
I know for a fact that several of those airports already had free wifi available, which makes me wonder if they all did at one time. Large airports like LAX, and ATL are not included, but they charge for wifi....

By jjsimp on 11/10/2009 3:36:52 PM , Rating: 2
Why Charlotte and the Florida airports...they have offered free wifi for atleast the last year or two. In addition to Phoenix and some Cali airports.

No MSP love?
By SiliconAddict on 11/10/2009 11:53:27 AM , Rating: 1

"I want people to see my movies in the best formats possible. For [Paramount] to deny people who have Blu-ray sucks!" -- Movie Director Michael Bay

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