FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Friday, April 29, 2005

Verizon Turning Off Free Wi-Fi in NYC

As the saying goes, there's no free lunch. And apparently, there's no free wi-fi either... at least not in New York City, and not coming from Verizon.

Over a two-month period, Verizon will turn off free wi-fi access points that it installed in about 380 phone booths throughout the city in 2003. Most are in Manhattan, with a few in Brooklyn.

At that time, wi-fi was a novelty, and Verizon was trying to establish itself in the market space. But now, as Verizon spends millions to upgrade its wireless network, it's ready to cash in on the growing wi-fi market. Specifically, it is promoting EV-DO technology, which offers a wider coverage and seamless connectivity for roaming devices. Verizon is apparently banking that customers will be willing to pay for a higher quality connection.

Source: AP (Yahoo!)