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Brier Dudley's blog

Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

November 10, 2009 at 10:04 AM

Free Wi-Fi at SeaTac, other airports, thanks to Google

Google’s bringing a free perk to 47 airports around the country, offering free WiFi service during the busy holidays. At SeaTac — homeport for competitors Microsoft and Amazon — the freebie will continue “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,” Marissa Mayer, vice president of search products and user experience, said in the release. “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.”

UPDATE: Google added an asterisk to SeaTac – in fine print it now says free service isn’t ready there yet and will come in “late November.” The rest of the airports received the service yesterday.

Burbank, Calif., is also getting free service indefinitely. The other 45 airports — and Virgin America flights — will see Google cover Wi-Fi service fees through Jan. 15.

Users won’t have to log in to Google, but the Wi-Fi providers will share usage information with the search company. Here’s how this is described in the FAQ:

Q. What kind of information are you collecting about users with the networks?

The network operators collect the information they need to run the network, and Google will have access to some aggregate, non-personally identifiable information.

Here’s a list of airports where it’s being offered:

Austin (AUS)

Baltimore (BWI)

Billings (BIL)

Boston (BOS)

Bozeman (BZN)

Buffalo (BUF)

Burbank (BUR)

Central Wisconsin (CWA)

Charlotte (CLT)

Des Moines (DSM)

El Paso (ELP)

Fort Lauderdale (FLL)

Fort Myers/SW (RSW)

Greensboro (GSO)

Houston (HOU)

Houston Bush (IAH)

Indianapolis (IND)

Jacksonville (JIA)

Kalamazoo (AZO)

Las Vegas (LAS)

Louisville (SDF)

Madison (MSN)

Memphis (MEM)

Miami (MIA)

Milwaukee (MKE)

Monterey (MRY)

Nashville (BNA)

Newport News (PHF)

Norfolk (ORF)

Oklahoma City (OKC)

Omaha (OMA)

Orlando (MCO)

Panama City (PFN)

Pittsburgh (PIT)

Portland (PWM)

Sacramento (SMF)

San Antonio (SAT)

San Diego (SAN)

San Jose (SJC)

Seattle (SEA)

South Bend (SBN)

Spokane (GEG)

St. Louis (STL)

State College (SCE)

Toledo (TOL)

Traverse City (TVC)

West Palm Beach (PBI)

Comments | Topics: free wifi, Google

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