WiFi: EarthLink Goes Wireless

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Date: Thursday, August 15th, 2002, 20:15
Category: Archive

EarthLink has added Wi-Fi (802.11b / Airport) service for its customers, “powered by Boingo.” The network currently has 500 hot spots, which at least appear to have the advantage of being more geographically dispersed, whereas competing services have had more density in “hot” cities and nothing elsewhere. EarthLink’s wireless hot spots include hotels, some airports (including Midway, Atlanta, BWI, Dulles, Logan, and Philadelphia), and in free “community access” spots so you can log on without being a guest of a hotel. Cafes are also included, though here in NYC not a single cafe is listed; for that you’re better off with TMobile Wireless’ MobileStar.

The service is $24.95 for 10 unlimited connect days, $4.95 each additional day, or $74.95 unlimited. Through the end of the month, EarthLink is giving away an ORiNOCO PCMCIA card or one month free access if you’ve got 802.11b already. It’s nice to see a heavy-hitter like EarthLink taking on 802.11b access; perhaps more mainstream usage isn’t far around the corner. The technology’s great, of course, but is this any closer to the kind of economics and access that you’d demand? Let us know.

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