Though many airlines have recently taken steps to improve the overall flying experience, free Wi-Fi still remains elusive on most popular U.S.-based airliners. More often than not, Wi-Fi service is offered through a company called Gogo which provides Internet connectivity at varying rates depending on how long you want to use it. An all-day pass, for instance will set you back $16 while an hour pass will cost you $5.
New York City’s mayor Michael Bloomberg announced on Thursday that the city will soon offer free Wi-Fi in 20 of its parks. AT&T will power the service, which will be available in popular spots such as Prospect Park, Battery Park, and Central Park, later this summer, but New Yorkers can already surf for free in Battery Bosque Park, the Joyce Kilmer Park in the Bronx, and Thomas Jefferson Park, among others. The public will have ad-free access to the free networks for at least the next five years. No word on whether you’ll actually be able to use an AT&T phone for voice calling in the parks, however.
So, AT&T, are you just messing with us again or what? Twice in the last year we discovered free WiFi services for the iPhone but you pulled it just before we could really get into it. What was the deal with that? Now, we’re getting text message notifications that read:
AT&T Free Msg: Your Apple iPhone now has free AT&T Wi-Fi access at thousands of hotspots nationwide, including Starbucks*. For info visit http://www.att.com/attwifi
Are you guys doing this for real now? You know, iPhone owners can only take so much abuse and teasing before it gets really aggravating. And to all our readers, did you get your text message this morning regarding the free WiFi? Has anyone tested it out yet to make sure it’s legit? Let us know so we can determine whether it’s here for good or if it’s just another senseless tease.
Here we go again! AT&T will be doing the free WiFi dance that we’ve all become familiar with, but this time it has nothing to do with iPhones. Starting tomorrow, Tuesday May 20th, all Laptop Connect customers will be able to enjoy free WiFi at each and every AT&T hotspot. AT&T’s internal correspondence on the matter:
Effective tomorrow, May 20th, the long-awaited FREE WiFi Access to over 17,000 WiFi locations throughout the U.S. launches for Laptop Connect Customers with plans $60 or higher. This exciting new feature will allow customers unlimited access to over 17,000 WiFi locations at no extra charge including locations in Starbucks and McDonalds. Customers will need three things for this free access:
- A laptop card. FREE WiFi for Smartphones is not available yet, but will be later in 2008.
- The latest version of Communication Manager (version 6.8). Once loaded this version will automatically log onto AT&T hotspots.
- A Laptop Connect plan of $60 or greater.
Note that first bullet: “FREE WiFi for Smartphones is not available yet, but will be later in 2008.” Does that mean all smartphone users will soon be able to enjoy free WiFi? All of the sudden our drawers full of unlocked smartphones aren’t looking so hot! In the meantime, AT&T Laptop Connect customers, enjoy. Let’s all hope it sticks this time…
[Thanks, Anonymous Tipster]