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Free Wi-Fi Coming To Atlanta's Airport 135

stephendavion (2872091) writes 'Passengers can now access free Wi-Fi at the world's busiest airport. Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport has dropped its $5 fee to access Wi-Fi in its terminals. "Now, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and airport officials plan to celebrate the long-awaited arrival of the amenity at the airport Wednesday," reports Kelly Yamanouchi of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. ... Interm airport manager Miguel Southwell tells Yamanouchi officials believe dropping the Wi-Fi charge will alleviate a "competitive disadvantage" for Hartsfield-Jackson.' I'm puzzled sometimes that so many airports do not yet offer free Wi-Fi, especially ones loaded with businesses (like Starbucks and McDonalds) that have made this a big draw in their non-airport locations. On the other hand, given a captive audience and the temptation for exclusive contracts, maybe I should be grateful that so many do have at least limited free coverage, and that the trend seems positive.
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Free Wi-Fi Coming To Atlanta's Airport

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  • Hey, what? $5? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by DeathToBill ( 601486 ) on Thursday June 05, 2014 @11:42AM (#47172251) Journal

    I can't remember the last time I was in an airport that didn't have free WiFi. But then I don't travel in the USA much.

  • by sribe ( 304414 ) on Thursday June 05, 2014 @11:45AM (#47172271)

    ... but the only way regular web browsing is ever worth it is if you have some absurdly early flight (5AM takeoff or similar)...

    I'm not an expert, I have no idea HTF they do it, but Denver manages to have decent performance even when terminal is jammed full with people sitting on the floor because there's no seats left. I'm sure it costs plenty of money to achieve that, but it certainly proves that it can be done.

  • by sribe ( 304414 ) on Thursday June 05, 2014 @11:49AM (#47172311)

    It used to be that most airports paid for certain maintenance operations, in particular the cleaning crews, with the revenue from pay phones. That source seriously dried up about the same time that wifi demand rose, and managers saw charging for wifi as an obvious replacement for pay-phone revenue. Now, long term, as people come to regard wifi as a necessary utility like water or bathrooms, that idea is not sustainable. Also, the FCC helps the push toward free wifi by blocking airports managers' attempts to ban airlines and in-terminal concessionnaires from operating their wifi. (Boston fought the FCC over this for a long time.)

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