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Free Wi-Fi Coming To Atlanta's Airport

timothy posted about 5 months ago | from the terminal-illness dept.

Businesses 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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Better use a VPN (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47172125)

You are being tracked.

Re:Better use a VPN (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47172219)

When you spoof your MAC address, you get better anonymity as when you used the internet from home.

Re:Better use a VPN (3, Insightful)

Kevin by the Beach (3600539) | about 5 months ago | (#47172349)

Mix this with the previous article http://it.slashdot.org/story/1... [slashdot.org] ... and voila! You aren't a victim you're a volunteer.

Re:Better use a VPN (1)

Andrio (2580551) | about 5 months ago | (#47173769)

I love my VPN service ("Private Internet Access" is the name). ~40 bucks a year and the service is good.

No, I'm not an advertisement bot, just a happy customer!

.
.
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ISPs hate her! See how local mom tripled her internet speed with this one weird trick!

Has science gone too far?

Never use the wifi at an airport (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47172145)

And if you do, make sure you're spoofing everything you can and running your best encryption.

Re:Never use the wifi at an airport (1)

The New Guy 2.0 (3497907) | about 5 months ago | (#47172181)

Why do you say that? There's nowhere to hide your screen there, so you're going to be watched by analog hole tech.

Re:Never use the wifi at an airport (1)

alen (225700) | about 5 months ago | (#47172209)

the NSA

Re:Never use the wifi at an airport (5, Insightful)

cjjjer (530715) | about 5 months ago | (#47172403)

You realize that there are private companies that collect *way* more information about you than the NSA does and they sell it to whomever wants to buy it.

Oh wait I forgot this is /.

Sorry move along...

Re:Never use the wifi at an airport (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47172705)

To some, the point is that What the NSA is doing is Illegal. The NSA collects information on USA people that it has no legal right or legal authority to have.
Companies have always been able to collect more data/information than the various USA Governments--Local, State, Federal.

So, you have posted a red herring and implied a non sequitur. That make you a Troll (IMHO).

Re:Never use the wifi at an airport (2)

anagama (611277) | about 5 months ago | (#47172731)

Not to mention the fact that the Government is free to jail or kill you whenever it wants based on what you think and say.

Re:Never use the wifi at an airport (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47172889)

The government is managed by Wall Street. Private companies give them a list of who to jail or kill. Stop trying to separate the two. Government simply provides security/collection services.

Re:Never use the wifi at an airport (1)

anagama (611277) | about 5 months ago | (#47173341)

point well taken

Not really ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47172925)

I don't think the GP is a Troll. Although, he does discount our Government's role in their illegal activities.

But he does raise a valid point - businesses collects all this information making the government's job MUCH easier. In effect, Google, Amazon, Yahoo!, etc ... are all defacto branches of the Government because their information is for sale or available by court order (*snicker* really all the Gov has to do is send a nasty letter or guys with badges and guns.).

Which leads me to say this - we need strict privacy laws to prevent businesses from pimping it out and abusing it themselves.

Businesses can NOT be trusted.

Re:Never use the wifi at an airport (0)

NoImNotNineVolt (832851) | about 5 months ago | (#47173111)

Like who? Most companies that engage in extensive data collection and tracking generally retain the resulting dataset for themselves, never putting it up for sale. For example, Google won't sell you the contents of my email or even my search history, period. Can you name a company that does offer the collected information for sale?

Re:Never use the wifi at an airport (1)

Noah Haders (3621429) | about 5 months ago | (#47172245)

Why do you say that? There's nowhere to hide your screen there, so you're going to be watched by analog hole tech.

That's funny, cuz i set up a hotspot 'free_airport_wifi' and just vacuum up everything that goes through. Good thing people don't bother with VPN due to the analog hole!

Re:Never use the wifi at an airport (1)

The New Guy 2.0 (3497907) | about 5 months ago | (#47172879)

I really wish somebody would develop the work/home cell phone where it indicates if they're calling you at your work number or sending to your work e-mail address at the company's expense, or home info to reach you at your home numbers. Yeah, work can interrupt you at home... but you should be able to move that call to the other rate plan within one cell phone minute.

Re:Never use the wifi at an airport (1)

Noah Haders (3621429) | about 5 months ago | (#47173985)

If work is paying for a cell phone plan, then why have a home plan?

Re:Never use the wifi at an airport (1)

The New Guy 2.0 (3497907) | about 5 months ago | (#47174167)

Because your work number and contact list goes to your employer when you leave, while the home stuff should be yours.

Re:Never use the wifi at an airport (1)

StripedCow (776465) | about 5 months ago | (#47172405)

There's nowhere to hide your screen there, so you're going to be watched by analog hole tech.

Meet the "laptop sock".
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ffcH... [blogspot.com]

Re:Never use the wifi at an airport (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47172499)

Most people in an airport have a strong preference for not being on a no-fly list.

Re:Never use the wifi at an airport (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47172821)

LOL, thanks for that. I think I'll stop writing the n-word (see?) and posting about fetid cocks and assholes on slashdot for the rest of the day.

Re:Never use the wifi at an airport (1)

sjames (1099) | about 5 months ago | (#47172923)

I thought the analog hole techs were all stationed at the security gates?!?

Re:Never use the wifi at an airport (2)

unixisc (2429386) | about 5 months ago | (#47173355)

Recently, @ ORD in transit, I needed to use WiFi w/ my iPod to use my email to inform colleagues where I was. Google interpreted it as someone trying to break into my account, and forced me to change a password I've had for 10 years. Yahoo! too couldn't be accessed, since the WiFi there was open. They had a touchscreen somewhere, but that had a resistive screen, making it impossible to do any typing for long.

Used to be billed to the boss... (3, Insightful)

The New Guy 2.0 (3497907) | about 5 months ago | (#47172171)

Those who keep good records used to get the $5 back from their boss, just charging it to the card they charge the rest of the trip expenses to. Who did this suck for? The kids who were traveling on vacation... yep, WiFi is the entertainment system that keeps you from getting bored at the airport.

Re:Used to be billed to the boss... (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 5 months ago | (#47172253)

Those who keep good records used to get the $5 back from their boss, just charging it to the card they charge the rest of the trip expenses to. Who did this suck for? The kids who were traveling on vacation... yep, WiFi is the entertainment system that keeps you from getting bored at the airport.

Still billed back to the boss - generally falls under reasonable expenses.

As for kids - well, they don't NEED WiFi to be entertained. Sure it's easy to stick 'em in front of Netflix or something, but half the time they're just using apps that work just fine without WiFi.

Either that, or their phone has a data connection that can be used in place of WiFi.

Then again, I've seen airports do interesting things with their wifi - "freemium" being the most common. Yes, freemium WiFi. Basically they give you anywhere from 30-45 minutes a day for free, then charge extra for more time (or give up a pile of personal information to double the time)..

Re:Used to be billed to the boss... (1)

Voyager529 (1363959) | about 5 months ago | (#47172265)

WiFi is the entertainment system that keeps you from getting bored at the airport.

Back in my day, if you wanted internet on your laptop, you needed an actual cable long enough to go from your phone jack to your dial-up modem...and somehow, my parents survived!

Re:Used to be billed to the boss... (1)

The New Guy 2.0 (3497907) | about 5 months ago | (#47172739)

Atlanta's airport used to have lots of vending machines, and lots of Atari-era (which was right for the time) video game machines. Yep, to a kid it was the good parts of the mall. Then, add the newsstand for the out of town adults, and some TVs tuned to CNN.

Re:Used to be billed to the boss... (1)

Joey Vegetables (686525) | about 5 months ago | (#47173569)

Back in MY day, we didn't have those newfangled computer doohickeys. We had adding machines and slide rules, and we liked them. "Innernet" was where you hoped the fish would go when you went fishing with a net. "Netflix" was what you would do if a bug got on your fishing net . . you "flicks" it off. A "color TV" was a huge thing that took half your living room, and the only thing "color" about it was the color of the cabinet; the picture itself was black and white. We had 3 channels, and we liked them. Now git off my lawn!!!

You know that big whooshing noise at airports? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47172173)

Yeah, that's not the sound of the planes, that's them sucking up all the money they can.

Re:You know that big whooshing noise at airports? (1)

alen (225700) | about 5 months ago | (#47172221)

horrible of them trying to make money back on what they spent to build the airport

Re:You know that big whooshing noise at airports? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 5 months ago | (#47172261)

Isn't that what those "airport improvement fees" are for?

Many many airports already essentially tack on a surcharge for that.

And I'm sure the airlines pay them. And the parking fees.

Re:You know that big whooshing noise at airports? (1)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about 5 months ago | (#47172417)

Actually, in the end, the customers pay them unless the taxpayers do.

Re:You know that big whooshing noise at airports? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47172299)

Then they try to make money back on what they didn't spend, they try to make money back on the subsidies they got to pay for them to do things, and then they try to make money back on you breathing air that they didn't pollute.

Yeah, it's like going to a used car salesman. They'd charge you for using the sun's light to look at the cars if they could.

Re: You know that big whooshing noise at airports? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47173541)

Then maybe they should charge people for things that actually cost them a significant amount of money, like using their clean bathrooms.

Re: You know that big whooshing noise at airports? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47173681)

Then maybe they should charge people for things that actually cost them a significant amount of money, like using their clean bathrooms.

As long as they don't implement the Bathroom attendants that Charlotte has. Annoying and a little creepy to have beggars in the bathroom. I'm not giving you a tip to do your job Bathroom Attendant. Go ask your employer for a raise, and for stay out of the bathroom unless you intend to clean it or use it.

Re:You know that big whooshing noise at airports? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47172931)

What's the difference between a 747 and a Jewish American Princess?

The jet quits whining after it lands in Miami...

Puzzled? (4, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 5 months ago | (#47172183)

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.

The airport is already a big draw. Nobody is choosing an alternate mode of transportation of driving far out of their way so they can fly out of another airport just because the airport doesn't have free Wi-Fi. If you can afford to do that, you can afford a cellular hotspot.

Re:Puzzled? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47172319)

This isn't an issue about going to an airport, for that they are a captive audience, it's about going to a specific airport. Often times you have a choice which airport you connect through. I'm not going to connect through the one with crappy chairs, crappy food, and no free wifi if there is an alternative with better amenities. While it's not true on every flight you have those choices, however it is true on a lot of flights.

Re:Puzzled? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47172751)

With the mergers going on, expect options to drop. After the mergers they drop redundant connections.

Re:Puzzled? (1)

AvitarX (172628) | about 5 months ago | (#47172455)

Also, I've used free airport WiFi, it universally sucks. Absolutely not enough bandwidth.

I would gladly pay $5 if that's enough to deter 50% of the users, especially if I had business to do.

I feel the same way about in flight access, the $5.00 on Southwest is practically unusable, but $10.00 on US air seems to be enough to drop usage to the point that it's worth it.

Re:Puzzled? (4, Insightful)

Shatrat (855151) | about 5 months ago | (#47173107)

This is about "Well, I can layover in Atlanta, or I can layover in Detroit. Atlanta is a pain in the ass to check my email, so let's go through Detroit".

Re:Puzzled? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47173325)

Never once have I looked at it that way. Main factors for me: Which route has the shortest travel time Which route is the cheapest Which route has the least chance of inclement weather. I wouldn't add 5 minutes or $5 extra to a trip to fly to an airport with 'free wifis'

Re:Puzzled? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47173731)

Add in which has more choices of restaurants or my favorite restaurants. Do you have to take a bus to board your airplane (DCA, JFK, LGA)? Do I get stuck at the airport due to maintenance problems of the plane frequently (Ohare)? Inclement weather consideration only accounts for Winter travel Nov-April usually.

McDonald's loves people who travel.... (1)

The New Guy 2.0 (3497907) | about 5 months ago | (#47172195)

There's something odd about a hand-made Big Mac coming out just like the one you get at the hometown location no matter where you are. There's a lot of people making them right now... must be lunchtime.

Re:McDonald's loves people who travel.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47172307)

A hand-made Big Mac? omg Big Macs are becoming the standard of craftmenship

Re:McDonald's loves people who travel.... (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 5 months ago | (#47172493)

McDonald's is consistent. Consistently bad.

Don't know how they stay in business, same as _all_ the yum food brands.

Re:McDonald's loves people who travel.... (1)

The New Guy 2.0 (3497907) | about 5 months ago | (#47172655)

Excuse me, you're confused... McDonald's is not part of "Yum Brands".

Re:McDonald's loves people who travel.... (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 5 months ago | (#47172771)

Didn't say they were; just that I didn't understand how they or the yum brands stay in business.

Re:McDonald's loves people who travel.... (1)

The New Guy 2.0 (3497907) | about 5 months ago | (#47173137)

1. Food is cheaper than you think some times... if you fund the production seasons, you know where to put it in your pipelines.
2. Too many people love this stuff, so it sells predictably within tolerances of randomness.
3. It doesn't take much more than your home cooking to make these things, just a few specialized machines that work better when serving 40 than 4.. get that?
4. Nobody doesn't like when it's overcrowded there, but if it happens enough new ones spring up!

Because Airport Wi-Fi sucks (5, Insightful)

Voyager529 (1363959) | about 5 months ago | (#47172207)

First, in order for airport wi-fi to not-suck, you'll need a massive subnet with a TTL of no more than 30 minutes. Yes, I've been in airports where a /24 subnet was apparently just dandy...

Second, everyone who's in an airport seems to want to stream Netflix or something like that; I do hope that Netflix throws a peering widget their way, because the thousands of iPads in that airport will strain the pipe pretty efficiently.

Third, you're on a single collision domain, half-duplex, along with everyone else. 5GHz may help matters, but 2.4 will still be needed for compatibility, and if you're stuck on it, you'll probably get useful speed out of a dial-up optimized RDP session an an SSH window, but the only way regular web browsing is ever worth it is if you have some absurdly early flight (5AM takeoff or similar), at which point 'using my computer' plays second fiddle to the better activity: sleep.

Sorry, I've just never seen it worth it. I always load up my hard drive before I go, and I've never regretted it.

The airport: the worst place to be in the cloud.

Re:Because Airport Wi-Fi sucks (4, Interesting)

sribe (304414) | about 5 months ago | (#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.

Re:Because Airport Wi-Fi sucks (4, Informative)

Lumpy (12016) | about 5 months ago | (#47172321)

They use segmented AP's designed for heavy use. My company installs Cisco Meraki in arenas that will have 10,000-40,000 people in them and they can handle the load if you set it all up right.

I am betting Atlanta has Cisco Meraki Installed.

Re:Because Airport Wi-Fi sucks (2)

timeOday (582209) | about 5 months ago | (#47173375)

It baffles me how this is possible. For example: "John Winborn, chief information officer for the Cowboys, said that at the Thanksgiving Day game against Oakland, nearly 19,000 fans at one time were connected to the stadium's Wi-Fi network through cellphones and other mobile devices. Over the course of the game, more than 32,000 fans connected."

Wifi only has about 10 channels right? So at least a couple thousand devices per channel at one time. A stadium (including seating) is only about 600 feet long and wide, how many cells can that really be divided into?

Re: Because Airport Wi-Fi sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47173589)

Highly directional antennas.

Re:Because Airport Wi-Fi sucks (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 5 months ago | (#47174111)

It baffles me how this is possible. For example: "John Winborn, chief information officer for the Cowboys, said that at the Thanksgiving Day game against Oakland, nearly 19,000 fans at one time were connected to the stadium's Wi-Fi network through cellphones and other mobile devices. Over the course of the game, more than 32,000 fans connected."
Wifi only has about 10 channels right? So at least a couple thousand devices per channel at one time. A stadium (including seating) is only about 600 feet long and wide, how many cells can that really be divided into?

Enterprise APs let you control the amount of power that's used for the transmitter. If you're going to serve 10,000 users, each AP can really only handle around 20-50 users before it starts to get crowded.

In an enterprise installation, what they do is the limit the transmit power and use more directional antennas to ensure the cell size is small enough that only that many people can really see the AP, and a neighboring AP will handle the cell next to it.

I use the term "cell" because it's similar to what cellphone providers do.

And sometimes the cells are small that the transmit power is severely cut down.

Consumer APs are generally set to the highest possible power that the hardware was designed for, so as to cast a strong signal everywhere using one AP. This is good for home use, but is not what you want for enterprise use as you don't want max power - you want controllable power to reduce the range so not too many people can associate with the AP at a time.

Or why they have split radios and AP controllers - because you need a lot of radios (especially in the spectator area) but not a lot of transmit power so not too many people actually connect at once.

Re:Because Airport Wi-Fi sucks (2)

Anonymous Psychopath (18031) | about 5 months ago | (#47173283)

First, in order for airport wi-fi to not-suck, you'll need a massive subnet with a TTL of no more than 30 minutes. Yes, I've been in airports where a /24 subnet was apparently just dandy...

Second, everyone who's in an airport seems to want to stream Netflix or something like that; I do hope that Netflix throws a peering widget their way, because the thousands of iPads in that airport will strain the pipe pretty efficiently.

Third, you're on a single collision domain, half-duplex, along with everyone else. 5GHz may help matters, but 2.4 will still be needed for compatibility, and if you're stuck on it, you'll probably get useful speed out of a dial-up optimized RDP session an an SSH window, but the only way regular web browsing is ever worth it is if you have some absurdly early flight (5AM takeoff or similar), at which point 'using my computer' plays second fiddle to the better activity: sleep.

Sorry, I've just never seen it worth it. I always load up my hard drive before I go, and I've never regretted it.

The airport: the worst place to be in the cloud.

It's an oversimplification to say that it's a single collision domain. Any decent enterprise wireless network uses overlapping access points that will automatically select and change channels based on automated detection of congestion and interference. Yes, there is always some level of frequency overlap, but that is easily addressed.

As far as address spacing goes, there's a number of scenarios in which a /24 can be just fine. Perhaps they are backhauling everything to a concentrator that performs NAT on a per-AP or per-zone basis, coupled with L3 roaming. A single massive subnet with maximum 30 minute session time is probably the worst possible design.

Enterprise mesh wireless has come a long way in the last five or ten years. Shopping malls and airports have wifi networks with multiple hundreds of APs in very high density so that they can gather wifi device location analytics via triangulation in addition to providing guest wireless access. They use it for determining foot traffic patterns and also storefront dwell time and conversion rates. For example, an airport will be interested in knowing where wireless devices are detected at a standstill in high densities, because they may be able to move things around or otherwise modify the physical environment to make it easier for folks to get to where they want to go. Interesting and also somewhat scary stuff.

Airport WIFI (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47172227)

Is this in addition to the 100 other wifi spots (usually scammers) you find at the airports.

Hey, what? $5? (1, Interesting)

DeathToBill (601486) | about 5 months ago | (#47172251)

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.

Re:Hey, what? $5? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47172725)

I can't remember the last time "free wifi" made any difference to me. It's not like I would use it anyway. Using free wifi is like strolling through a gay club with assless chaps.

WTF? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47172279)

You mean you have to PAY for public WiFi access in your country??

Re:WTF? (1)

tomhath (637240) | about 5 months ago | (#47172425)

Someone always pays for it. Everywhere in the world

Re:WTF? (1)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about 5 months ago | (#47172441)

You mean you have to PAY for public WiFi access in your country??

Yeah, just so we can get some money from visiting arrogant foreigners who think everything should be a free entitlement.

I hate free wifi at airports (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47172293)

As a business traveller, I would rather pay, or have some sort of exclusive service.

Once it's "free", every man and his dog connects and stays connected for hours, and the service is inevitably completely unusable.

Re:I hate free wifi at airports (1)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about 5 months ago | (#47172395)

As a business traveller, I would rather pay, or have some sort of exclusive service.

Once it's "free", every man and his dog connects and stays connected for hours, and the service is inevitably completely unusable.

Me too, as long as its reasonable. Charging $7 for me to access the internet for the 20 minutes I'm waiting on the plane is too much, even if its a covered expense. If they charged $1 - $2 for a good connection, I would not hesitate. I always wondered if they'd make more money that way.

Re:I hate free wifi at airports (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 5 months ago | (#47173239)

As a business traveller who isn't going to type his credit card details into a random captive portal that claims to be affiliated with an airport-honest-really-not-a-scam, I welcome free WiFi at airports.

Sure they do this NOW... (2)

Lumpy (12016) | about 5 months ago | (#47172297)

Not last week when I was sitting there for 4 hours... I am betting my work phone Verizon LTE was faster than their wifi though... Gotta love tethering and making the company pay for it.

let me explain the puzzle (4, Interesting)

sribe (304414) | about 5 months ago | (#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.)

Re:let me explain the puzzle (1)

Joe Gillian (3683399) | about 5 months ago | (#47172357)

Is this why airports keep hiking ticket prices, even well past what they'd need to pay for increased fuel costs and still make a profit? Or have they found some other way to subsidize maintenance?

Re:let me explain the puzzle (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | about 5 months ago | (#47172371)

It doesn't help that paid wi-fi has a tendency to just cause people to switch to tethering now - which potentially causes performance problems for the paid users.

How about improving navigation first? (2)

sethstorm (512897) | about 5 months ago | (#47172391)

Given the layout of ATL, going from one concourse to another (especially if you go between a civilized airline and Delta) requires a trip to one people-mover that unnecesarily increases the distance. Perhaps they could take a lesson from somewhere like DFW and fix that.

If I want online access, my phone does it quite well.

KCI has been doing this for years... (1)

gameboyhippo (827141) | about 5 months ago | (#47172421)

As far as I remember KCI has always had free Internet wifi. Combined with the fact that we have Google Fiber, it feels like the rest of America is some third world country.

Re:KCI has been doing this for years... (2)

Highly Motivated Ano (10476) | about 5 months ago | (#47173335)

As far as I remember KCI has always had free Internet wifi. Combined with the fact that we have Google Fiber, it feels like the rest of America is some third world country.

I think you mean MCI. KCI is the airport in Kon, Indonesia.

Re:KCI has been doing this for years... (1)

gameboyhippo (827141) | about 5 months ago | (#47173537)

I think you mean MCI. KCI is the airport in Kon, Indonesia.

Nope. I meant to say KCI. Here in Kansas City, we call "Kansas City International" KCI airport. Nobody in Kansas City calls it MCI. Yes, I'm well aware that the official formal designation is MCI as I have flown out of KCI many times.

Re: KCI has been doing this for years... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47173643)

http://www.flykci.com/ would like a word with you. It's Kansas City International. KCI. Nobody calls it by its airport code.

Exclusivity Contracts (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47172461)

Those exclusivity contracts also apply to business in the airport. Austin apparently signed an exclusivity contract with AT&T for Austin Bergstrom International Airport citing cost and security as the reasons. Business with existing services through other providers such as Time Warner may continue their service but the only provider change allowed is switching to AT&T. Interestingly, business can still order TV from Time Warner but Time Warner is forbidden from adding any data service.

News for nerds? (-1, Troll)

larry bagina (561269) | about 5 months ago | (#47172505)

You know what's better than free wifi at Atlanta's airport? Avoiding Atlanta's airport.

Free? (1)

smooth wombat (796938) | about 5 months ago | (#47172515)

How is this wi-fi free if I'm paying for it as part of my ticket price?

Oh, you meany you won't be charged an additional fee to use it. Got it.

Still not free, only a bit cheaper to use.

Good (1)

sandytaru (1158959) | about 5 months ago | (#47172589)

They did have a free page or two and access to news and weather, but the greater Internet was blocked off. I've spent many hours in that airport over the years and will probably spend many many more. The money I save on this can go for being crazy and paying for on-plane Wifi instead.

not believable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47172741)

quote
  Interm airport manager Miguel Southwell tells Yamanouchi officials believe dropping the Wi-Fi charge will alleviate a "competitive disadvantage" for Hartsfield-Jackson."
unquote

So the manager of the Airport says that someone will actually change their flight plan to avoid a 5$ fee ?????
*change your route for 5$* ?????

Re:not believable (1)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about 5 months ago | (#47173075)

Atlanta airport has the competitive disadvantage of being in Atlanta.

free wifi? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47172785)

Like stephendavion, i thought all the big airports already had free wifi? Maybe not. then again, i don't go to airports much. I usually take Amtrak.

Remember pay toilets? (2)

wcrowe (94389) | about 5 months ago | (#47172797)

Anyone who scratches their heads at the lack of free wifi in airports is obviously too young to remember pay toilets. Talk about a captive audience. But airports eventually moved away from those. Hopefully pay-wifi will disappear too.

Re:Remember pay toilets? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47174209)

Pay toilets are still common practice in many European cities.

Especially since they have so much to gain... (2)

Dharkfiber (555328) | about 5 months ago | (#47172823)

I work for a hardware vendor (Fortinet) and we are currently selling our AP infrastructure like hotcakes when we partner with companies like Kiana. Imagine a WiFi sensor network that works like the ad sensors in Minority Report. So when you walk by a retailer using the free wifi and browsing we can inject an ad for a free smoothy or a discount beer (that is the evil side). The good side is that when you enter the airport we have you stored in the MAC database and we can see when you are checking in an in teh security line so if you are late for your flight they can have TSA hurry you along to get on your flight on time.

How delightful. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47172831)

Welcome to Europe, capitalist America.

SJC (2)

k6mfw (1182893) | about 5 months ago | (#47172873)

from my experience I've found San Jose airport has really good wifi. Free, easy to connect, and pretty fast too. Far superior to Google's wifi in Mountain View. And can view whatever websites you want. Frustrating other airports don't do the same (I have used paid services but they are terribly slow), it gets really dry waiting for connecting flights (but then there is the 20th century method of getting smarter by reading a book). Very tempting to get a Ubiquiti Bullet and high gain yagi aimed at SJC airport. But there's considerable distance and many buildings and trees in between, and of course not kosher with their User Agreement.

Re:SJC (1)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about 5 months ago | (#47173117)

>Very tempting to get a Ubiquiti Bullet and high gain yagi aimed at SJC airport.

I'm doing that at home. I have a flat roof on my house and I can see the bar from my roof and there's a handy pole supporting the TV antenna. A direct wifi link to the bar, connecting for my fiber internet will let me work from the bar all day.

Verizon MiFi and Similar Devices (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47172915)

I have a Verizon MiFi so I can get a WiFi cloud anywhere I get a cellphone connection, which means I'm not at the mercy of free WiFi providers nor do I have the anxiety of searching for one. Plus I figure I have a more secure approach than a public wireless connection. All the excitement generated by people who depend upon free WiFi is amusing.

However... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47173207)

Ahhh, we forget to mention the new $5 dollar fee for standing in the terminal.

ATL is my favorite airport (1)

NoImNotNineVolt (832851) | about 5 months ago | (#47173311)

Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport is my favorite airport, and this news just made it even better.

They just opened a Buffalo Wild Wings last September in Terminal/Concourse D. New Belgium Brewery's Fat Tire available (though it was bottle-only last time I was there). There's nothing like a dozen Blazin' (boneless, extra-wet) wings before a long flight to keep things interesting. 45 beers on tap is quite a bit nicer than a "Chilis To Go" or a shitty TGIFridays.

Smoking lounges. Seven smoking lounges. I don't smoke anymore, but I'm capable of some empathy. Having to round-trip through security just to have a smoke when your flight is delayed is annoying, to say the least. It's refreshing to see some airports are still willing to accomodate our second class citizens... I mean smokers.

Quick and easy access to MARTA. Cool art installations. Excellent/efficient airport layout/design. Lots of surprisingly great food options. And now free WiFi, something you don't see too often in the US. They've truly outdone themselves this time. I wish my home airport (EWR) was even half as nice.

Re:ATL is my favorite airport (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47173837)

The smoking lounges are a negative in my non-smoking opinion. They need a two door system, where in between the two doors they will blow the stink off of the smoker before he is allowed to exit...like the ones you see in Germ Labs.
I can't empathize with smokers, it's a horrible habit that also affects the health of us non-smokers. Smoking real tobacco should be outlawed and only the e-cigs allowed. However, they need to study the health benefits for secondhand vapors of the e-cigs. I don't care about the health of someone that chooses to smoke in this day and age, but they shouldn't be hurting non-smokers with their nasty habit.

Re:ATL is my favorite airport (2)

NoImNotNineVolt (832851) | about 5 months ago | (#47173931)

It's authoritarian fucks like you that are destroying this world. Outdoor smoking bans, despite mountains of evidence that second-hand cigarette smoke has no detectable effects outdoors. Your stated belief that smoking real tobacco should be outlawed. Talk of second-hand nicotine vapor effects. You're a fool of the most dangerous sort, the type that wants to impose his idiocy on the rest of us.

If you ask me, they should have a two door system for all self-righteous asshole lounges. That way people like you could be packed in, and both sets of doors locked. Fuck you and the smugness you rode in on.

Re: ATL is my favorite airport (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47174109)

Charlotte has free wifi (or it did the last time I was lucky enough to fly through there instead of ATL). Atlanta's international concourse (T, the innermost) is very nice, however, and rarely crowded. It's where I hang out when I have a layover. The rest of the airport sucks, except that the Atlanta Bread Company makes decent food. The worst airport, however, must be Heathrow: they tell you which terminal to go to, but not which gate, to keep you in the duty-free shopping zone longer. Heathrow has all US airports beat on inconvenience and crass commercialism: no one fucks up their airports like the British. Plus, Heathrow's the only airport to lose my luggage in twenty years.

Re: ATL is my favorite airport (1)

NoImNotNineVolt (832851) | about 5 months ago | (#47174197)

Agreed, LHR makes no sense to me. I never know where I am or how to get where I'm going. The only place that comes close is Japan's NRT, but that's only a maze in the 4th floor shopping area. Conversely, it's virtually impossible to get lost at ATL. Atlanta Bread Company is only one of many, many decent food places there; I've yet to find an airport in the US that has a larger variety of better foods.

I've only stopped in CLT once, though it was somewhat recently, and I don't think I tried to look for WiFi. I don't fly American/US very often. In any case, CLT sees less than half of the traffic that ATL gets. It's almost an apples to oranges comparison. Additionally, I wasn't claiming that ATL is first to offer free WiFi, merely that the airport that I already considered to be my favorite just got even better still.

SJC and PHX do a pretty good job (2)

siphonophore (158996) | about 5 months ago | (#47173365)

SJC and the much bigger PHX are the airports I frequent and both do a pretty good job. $5 may not be much to a business traveler, but in a few years we'll look back at it the same way we'd think of a $5 charge to turn the lights on.

Re:SJC and PHX do a pretty good job (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47173919)

CLT is my favorite airport, except for the bathroom attendants that panhandle. PHX is nice but the restaurant selection is lacking.

Hartsfield. Airport (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47173513)

Why anyone in their right mind would find themselves in that particular hellhole, I'll never know.

Disband TSA/DHS. Internal travel free of federal government interference is a Constitutional Right.

Save America. Re-elect NO ONE. Ever.

Live in ATL... (2)

Mike Ice (3637719) | about 5 months ago | (#47173863)

Atlanta's new wifi install can handle 15,000 connected devices according to the specs they released. Just an FYI if in Atlanta and if you need faster service - Terminal A the Admirals Lounge has free wifi about 150ft out each way from it's entrance, fast enough for Netflix.

Just root your android and tether for free (1)

cshay (79326) | about 5 months ago | (#47174051)

Wifi hotspots are not really needed anymore. Most everyone has (nearly) unlimited cell data.

Toronto's Pearson (1)

kbahey (102895) | about 5 months ago | (#47174219)

Meanwhile in the north, we have had Wifi for many years at Toronto's Pearson airport ...

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