Google to provide free Wi-Fi for holidays at airports

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Google Inc. announced it will provide free Wi-Fi service for the holidays at 47 airports across the nation, including General Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee and Dane County Regional Airport in Madison.

Google said it is working with Boingo Wireless, Advanced Wireless Group, Airport Marketing Income and others to provide the free service through Jan. 15, 2010.

Google also said that as a result of the project, the airports in Burbank, Calif., and Seattle, Wash., will begin offering airport-wide free Wi-Fi indefinitely.

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"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," said Marissa Mayer, vice president of search products and user experience at Google. "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."

"Google gets this year’s Wi-Fi Santa award for sponsoring complimentary access in dozens of airports, both to the traveler’s and airport’s benefit," said Dave Hagan, president and chief executive officer of Boingo Wireless. "In addition to the obvious bonus holiday travelers will enjoy, sponsored access will increase overall Wi-Fi usage in the participating airports and help supplement the airport’s increasingly important non-airline incremental revenue."

"Google’s sponsorship of free Wi-Fi in the airports during this holiday season is a welcome gift to airports and Wi-Fi operators alike that continue to strive to find the balance between customer service and revenue concerns; especially during these difficult economic times," said Scott Phillips, president and CEO of Advanced Wireless Group and Electronic Media Systems.

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